Meditations with Isis

 

looking for doris

Looking for Doris – cover for the novel by Barbara Brown

Who is Isis?  Are we blind and deaf to the primordial feminine archetype which powered the ancient world?

Through ignorance of history and our roots, her Name is pasted onto an extremist sect and its atrocities against the hated female soul, against Gaia Earth. Similarly, the Vedic solar swastika and other divine symbols were pasted into politics and nationalism – an adulteration of higher resonance.

Do we live in a turning point of extremes?  What can we do ?

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Yazidi refugees

Yazidi refugees

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I am not sure yet how to handle the Isis resonance with the popular label on the Islamist State army, who target womanhood and ancient history. I want to remind you who pick up and read my scroll, of the Goddess, and also of the deep Islamic meanings:  adaptation and surrender.   I want to help invoke Her within our home fires, our powers of integrity, compassion and reason.

I wonder about Her reaction to the militant blasphemy – she is tidal in the collective unconscious – it could suddenly turn. In the world’s warp and weft of Karma and Dharma, the suffering might change, but not in a way which is limited to our understanding and expectation.  We need to stretch our canvas wider.  Keep the heart centre open, for light to enter.

Priestess and Strength, 2 & 8 - Version 4

My direct experience of life complements the occult disciplines of the 1930s, (which are described in detail in Dion Fortune’s Moon Magic). As Gareth Knight has said, the dispensation evolves: for contemporary emergencies, doors which were closed, are now open for business in the Aquarian age’s pangs of birth.

There is Black Isis who is primordial, and White Isis who rules the hearth and the way of birth. I work and live with White Isis, and am aware with her Shadow. The following extracts from Dion Fortune’s Sea Priestess form a preliminary in Her invocation: we begin with the home sacrament – the truth in our relationships. The Isis archetype is tidal – the tiny lunar ripple moves across continents. Nothing can change the world without beginning Here.

It is proper, to re-invoke Isis, in our cellular memory:  to imagine and positively picture her, to return her to life and power … in the way we see our Mother, Great Isis, Star of the Sea, guardian of gestation, childbirth and the Mysteries.

Right on cue, this postcard just arrived from my sister who is travelling in Italy:

botticelli postcard

This is Isis,  looking like my grandmother, firm as a rock.  Botticelli who painted her many times joyously, fell under the banner of Savonarola, a religious extremist; his later paintings became tense, agitated and disordered – neurosis of the denied feminine.  Christianity was an international terrorist during the medieval flowering into Renaissance.  It held the wealth of nations; and alchemy went underground.

To honour Isis, I will illustrate some lengthy extracts from Dion Fortune’s novel, The Sea Priestess.  These are just a taster of the book’s beauty and depth, which is well worth several good reads!   It and her other novels are published by the Society of Inner Light – curators of the School which Dion Fortune founded, between the world wars.  The Sea Priestess was written in 1935, and one of its aims is to resurrect the vital marriage between man and woman, which convention and the church had atrophied.

She wrote:  “‘The Mystical Qabalah’ gives the theory, but the novels give the practice.  Those who read the novels without having studied the Qabalah will get hints and a stimulus to their subconscious.  Those who study the Qabalah without reading the novels will get an interesting intellectual jigsaw puzzle to play with, but those who study the ‘Mystical Qabalah’ with the help of the novels, get the keys of the Temple put into their hands.  As Our Lord said, ‘Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?'”

Dion Fortune said of herself, “It has often been said of me that I am no lady, and I have myself had to tell the Secretary of a well-known club which craved my membership, that I am no gentleman, so we will leave the mystery of sex wrapped in decent obscurity, like that of the parrot.”

Dion Fortune in 1927

Dion Fortune in 1927

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Meditations from “The Sea Priestess” by Dion Fortune

Wilfred, an estate agent, becomes acquainted with – and fascinated by – an enigmatic woman who calls herself Vivien le Fay Morgan.  He finds an old fort on the headland, which she decides to live and work in as her temple;  he has the place repaired, paints sea-scapes on the interior walls, and his soul begins spontaneously to open.  I have numbered these extracts:  it is good to read them slowly, to savour each one, but it may also be rewarding to scroll and alight among words and images.

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(1)

I let my mind range beyond time to the beginning.  I saw the vast sea of infinite space, indigo-dark in the Night of the Gods; and it seemed to me that in that darkness and silence must be the seed of all things.  And as in the seed is infolded the future flower with its seed, and again, the flower in the seed, so must all creation be infolded to infinite space, and I along with it.

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pathway, cornwall 2011

pathway, cornwall 2011

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(2)

I woke up at dawn, and saw a glorious pathway of pale gold leading along the wave-tops. There was something unearthly about the complete emptiness that one looked out on to through that window in the pale light of dawn.  

I could see no land from my bed, but only the glittering waves with the shadows still in their hollows, for the light was low.  And in that hour, freshly wakened from sleep, I saw things differently from the way I had ever seen them before.  I saw them not as short chains of cause and effect, whose connections one could not see beyond a few moves, which is what life usually looks like, but as large tracts of influence into which one could enter or which one could avoid, and it was the bias of one’s own nature which determined entry or absence.

waves, cornwall 2011

waves, cornwall 2011

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(3)

They hailed the sea as the oldest of created things, older even than the hills, and the mother of all living.  But they bade the sea remember that the moon is the giver of magnetic life, and that it was from the moonlight on the sea that living forms arose.  For the sea is formless, but the magnetic moon is the giver of form to the life of the waters.

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Moon over Conway Col, Karakorum, photo by Fosco Maraini

Moon over Conway Col, Karakorum, photo by Fosco Maraini

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(4)

Morgan le Fay as remote as the moon, was a lot more to my liking than she would have been mending my socks; for then I kept my dream of moon-magic and sea-palaces, and had for my love a princess of the powers of the air, and all this would have turned to dust like Dead Sea fruit had she degenerated into flesh and blood.

Morgan, by letting me care for her without fear or favour, and by letting her womans’ magnetism flow out towards me unchecked, gave me, though I never laid a finger on her, what is lacking in many marriages.

Mother Isis of the Moon, 2015

Mother Isis of the Moon, 2015

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(5)

Morgan le Fay had taught me that things cook quite differently over different kinds of fire, and that a gas-oven can never take the place of bright wood-embers that diffuse a soft lambent heat instead of the dry harshness of gas. Then, she said, there were different kinds of woods, and for some dishes nothing but coals of juniper would serve, and told me the old rune:

IMG_2712

Double eagle salamander

 

Take two twigs of the juniper tree.
Cross them, cross them, cross them.
Look in the coals of the fire of Azrael –

A woman who knows the arts of the moon-magic can compound a very curious elixir for a man’s drinking. There is a virtue in her hands that passes into the food. I would fire a cantankerous cook if I had to live on dog biscuits for the rest of my days, for everything she touches she poisons for a sensitive person.

Next day I awoke at dawn and went out on to the point. I saw the fog roll back as the sun came up. A light fitful wind came in from the open sea and pushed it back in great wreaths, and the sun shone down out of a cloudless sky of palest autumn blue and caught the little waves that followed in the wake of the wind. All the sea was a-sparkle with pale gold, and the fog, snowy white, lay along the coast in a bank that hid the land. It was as if all the world had sunk in the sea and only the high sea-down remained.

I promised myself that Morgan le Fay should soon have her fire of sweet woods. I knew where I could lay my hands on cedar logs, for one had blown down near us in a summer storm; sandalwood was to buy at a price, and juniper grew on the hills behind the town. Yes, we would light a Fire of Azrael before we were very much older, and I would look into its coals and see the past.

All that day I worked on the second panel. I painted the rift in the mist and the pale sun coming through, and the sickly silver sea that heaved so slowly. And down the sea-lane thus opening came the shade of the Flying Dutchman; a ship of antique shape, her sails hanging aslant; her ropes trailing in the water; and on her high forecastle a great barnacled bell that had been sunk long centuries in deepest ooze. Slow swirls of water followed her forefoot, and through them showed the faces of drowned mariners who clutched at her stem as they went by. And some of them had no faces, for like the poor mooncalf, they had gone down into deep water and been made one with the sea snakes.

Morgan le Fay did not altogether like these things. She said – had she got to live with this picture, for it was terrible? And I said, “You have chosen to live with the sea, Morgan le Fay, and the sea is terrible. Perhaps some day I who love you will be like these things without faces.”

And she looked at me strangely, and I said, “But meanwhile I have today.”

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priest of the moon - sphinx, 2003

priest of the moon – sphinx, 2003

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(6)

She told me how, through her acquaintance with the Priest of the Moon who had come to her in the crystal, she had learnt a strange lore, lost since the world grew wise, or thought it did. This was the inner, intuitive wisdom of the ancients and of primitive people to this day.

She said how the soul was of ancient lineage, coming to earth again and again, learning the lessons of earth and finally winning to freedom; and there were some souls that having no more need of the lessons of earth, came not to learn but to teach, and she believed she was one of these. They were not, she said, of ordinary birth, but magically incarnated, biding their time till conditions were right, and then slipping in. It was the mingling of Breton and Welsh that had made the conditions wherein the strange soul that was hers, could come …

priestess of Black Isis, 2002

priestess of Black Isis, 2002

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(7)

“In my dedication to the moon and the sea,” said Morgan le Fay, “I had chosen the part that was passive, and I had to await the coming of the fecundator, and I still await it.”

“Might it be,” said I, “that I should play that part to you, Morgan le Fay, for I love you?”

“It might be,” said she. “We can but try. And it does not matter whether you love me or not if you can bring through that power.”

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wave swell cornwall 2011

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(8)

And I knew that water had two moods – the flowing and the still, and not until it is still can life arise in it. And learning as I had, that the beginning of things is reflected through all their nature, I reckoned there must be in us this flowing of our energies and their gathering into a deep pool, and that these things might be under the moon-rhythms.

And I recognised that it was a man’s nature to be predominantly dynamic like the First Outpouring; and it was predominantly a woman’s nature to gather into a deep pool wherein life can form. But I knew also that there must be an alternating rhythm in these things, and that maybe it is this rhythm we have forgotten.

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Ceres and John, 1987

Ceres and John, 1987

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(9)

I am never really virile unless I am in a tantrum. Morgan on the other hand, was an extraordinarily vital woman. Then I saw why there must be priestesses as well as priests; for there is a dynamism in a woman that fecundates the emotional nature of a man as surely as he fecundates her physical body; this was a thing forgotten by modern civilisation which stereotypes and conventionalises all things and forgets the Moon, our Lady of flux and reflux.

She was trying to discover the manner in which this lost force worked. Most men wouldn’t let her do it, for it is the male convention to keep the initiative at all costs. But behind our conventions there is primordial Nature, and I saw why vamps have such a success, and the kind unselfish woman gets left on the shelf; for men do not love the women who give and give, but the ones who make demands on them and so call out their strength … Love is one of those things in which to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.

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priestess of black isis 3, 2002

priestess of black isis 3, 2002

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(10)

There was a curious, subtle difference about the fort that I cannot define, and the smell of cedar and sandal had soaked into it till the whole place was redolent. The fort felt like a harp that had been tuned ready for use; and every now and again, like an Aeolian harp, faint sighing sounds came from it spontaneously.

There was something curious about the sea too, that is not easy to describe; it seemed as if it had come much nearer to us and could at will flow in and fill all the rooms. And yet it was not a drowning and alien element, for a kinship had been established between us and the sea, and we would be able to breathe in its waters as if we were amphibian. I cannot put into words the curious sense I received of being made free of the sea; as if no wave would ever sweep me off the point, but I could walk down into the depths as I would walk out into a fog – conscious of a denser medium but not of an alien element.

I knew that my dedication had been accepted … whether the land was to be saved from the sea, or whether the sea was to regenerate the land.

Arcanum Two - high priestess

Arcanum Two – high priestess

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(11)

And then I found myself on that high tabular peak of Atlantis where the sacred college had stood, though whether it was sunk in the great Atlantic Deep or high in air, I do not know. My guide had gone, and before me were two figures veiled in misty light. I could see neither face nor form, but only the shadowy sweep of the robes and great folded wings behind them. What they said to me, or I said to them, I shall never know, for nothing remained in memory save that I knelt on the knee before them upon the rock of the plateau and iridescent, opalescent light played all around me; and there was in my soul a reverence so profound and awe so great, that ever afterwards life has been to me a sacrament.

Swan hebrew letter BEIT

Swan hebrew letter BEIT

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(12)

We walked along the ancient way as if we were making pilgrimage. There is a curious power in silence when you think alike without word spoken and each knows the other’s thoughts. As long as nothing is said, the thing you are thinking remains in another dimension and is magical, but as soon as you speak it, you lose it. It is the old story of the jewels bought in the goblin market, which you must only look at by moonlight or you find them to be a handful of dead leaves. There is more than one kind of reality, and they don’t mix.

It amazed me to remember that then I had been so shy with her that I hardly knew how to address her, and now I was so intimate that I could bicker with her like I did with my sister when she rubbed my fur the wrong way. There is no greater test of intimacy than to be able to have a row with a person without quarrelling with them.

entry, cornwall 2011

entry, cornwall 2011

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(13)

The tide was going out, and the rocks of the point were slowly coming up out of the water as the languid wash of the ground-swell heaved the weed. The rising moon had not yet cleared the down, and the fort lay in shadow though the water was silvered; one could see the wide faint furrows of the slowly moving swell coming in from the Atlantic, and it was very like the traces of the plough that remain when arable land goes back to pasture. The sea was not like sea that night, and the land was not like land, but they seemed to be one thing, even as they were before the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

I called to Morgan but got no answer, and seeing the big room lit up, I went in there to look for her. She sat silently, calm and aloof, and she might have been asleep save that she was bolt upright. She was clad in a close silvery robe, and her cloak was of indigo gauze, and she looked like the moon in the night sky amid light cloud. On her head was the horned head-dress of the moon, which is also the lunar crescent of Isis. At the far end of the room was another raised dais, and I took my seat on it. Immediately behind me was the shadowy outline of the Priest of the Moon in his painted sea palace. In the centre of the floor was the altar of the double cube, draped in silver, and upon it a crystal bowl filled with water, and Morgan and I sat and faced each other across it, the length of the room away.

She struck a bell beside her, and its soft note filled the room with humming overtones that died slowly away. She raised her hand:

“Be ye far from us, O ye profane, for we are about to invoke the descent of the power of Isis. Enter her temple with clean hands and a pure heart, less you defile the source of life. The temple of Isis is built of black marble and hung with silver, and she herself sits veiled in the innermost. She is all goddesses that men’s hearts have worshipped, for they are not many things but one thing under many forms. Those who adore the Isis of Nature adore her as Hathor with the horns upon her brow; but those who adore the celestial Isis know her as Levanah the Moon. She is also the Great Deep whence life arose. She is all ancient and forgotten things wherein our roots are cast. Upon earth she is ever-fecund; in heaven she is ever-virgin. She is the mistress of the tides that flow and ebb and flow and never cease. In these things are the keys of her mystery, known only to the initiated.

“O thou most holy and adorable Isis, who in the heavens art the supernal Mother and upon earth our Lady of Nature, and in the airy kingdoms between heaven and earth the ever-changing Moon ruling the tides of flux and reflux upon the earth and in the hearts of men; thee we adore in the symbol of the Moon in her splendour, ever changing; and in the symbol of the deep sea that reflects her; and in the symbol of the opening of the gates of life.

“We see thee crowned in silver in the heavens, and clad in green upon the earth, and in thy robe of many colours at the gates, O heavenly silver that answers to the celestial gold! O green that rises from the grey! O rainbow glory of living! …”

rainbow and lightning-daily mail

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(14)

(The Atlantean Priest of the Moon spoke): “Learn now the secret of the web that is woven between the light and the darkness, whose warp is life evolving in time and space, and whose weft is spun of the lives of men. Behold, we rise with the dawn of time from the grey and misty sea, and with the dusk we sink in the western ocean, and the lives of a man are strung like pearls on the thread of his spirit; and never in all his journey goes he alone, for that which is solitary is barren.”

The voice ceased, and there was silence; and in the silence I could hear the sound of the sea murmuring among the rocks and knew that the windows stood open to the night.

Then the voice spoke again: “Learn now the mystery of the ebbing and flowing tides. That which is dynamic in the outer is latent in the inner, for that which is above is as that which is below, but after another manner.

“Isis of Nature awaits the coming of her Lord the Sun. She calls him. She draws him from the place of the dead, the Kingdom of Amenti where all things are forgotten. And he comes to her in his boat called Millions of Years, and the earth grows green with the springing grain. For the desire of Osiris answers unto the call of Isis.

“And so it will ever be in the hearts of men, for thus the gods have formed them. Whoso denies this is abhorred of the gods. But in the heavens our Lady Isis is the Moon, and the moon-powers are hers. She is also the priestess of the silver star, that rises from the twilight sea. Hers are the magnetic moon-tides ruling the hearts of men. In the inner she is all-potent. She is queen of the kingdoms of sleep. All the invisible workings are hers and she rules all things ere they come to birth. Even as through Osiris her mate, the earth grows green, so the mind of man conceives through her power.

“Let us show forth in a rite the dynamic nature of the goddess that the minds of men may be as fertile as their fields,” –

and from behind me came a bell-note where I knew there was no bell.

“Be ye far from us, O ye profane, for the unveiling of the goddess is at hand. Look not upon her with impure eyes lest ye see your own damnation. The ignorant and impure man gazes upon the face of Nature, and it is to him darkness of darkness. But the initiated and illuminated man gazes thereon and sees the features of God. Be ye far from us, O ye profane, while we adore God made manifest in Nature.”

The voice fell silent again, and the sea outside answered with a slow soft wash on the rocks that was like the beating of muffled cymbals.

“I am the soundless, boundless, bitter sea;
All things in the end shall come to me.

Mine is the kingdom of Persephone.
The inner earth, where lead the pathways three.

Who drinks the waters of that hidden well
shall see the things whereof he dare not tell,
shall tread the shadowy path that leads to me,
Diana of the Ways and Hecate,
Selene of the Moon, Persephone.”

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(15)

“Why do you fear the Dark Queen, O men? She is the Renewer. From sleep we arise refreshed; from death we arise reborn; by the embraces of Persephone are men made powerful. For there is a turning-within of the soul whereby men come to Persephone; they sink back into the womb of time; they become as the unborn; they enter into the kingdom where she rules as Queen; they are made negative and await the coming of life.

“And the Queen of Hades comes unto them as a bridegroom, and they are made fertile for life and go forth rejoicing, for the touch of the Queen of the kingdoms of sleep made them potent.”

cliff, cornwall 2011

cliff, cornwall 2011

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(16)

I felt sleep rising over me like a tide as the sea rose over the rocks outside, taking back again that which belonged to it, lent for an hour to the air. I was returning to the nothingness whence I had come, and life was ending as it had begun, in sleep. I remembered the words of one of the wise – ‘Or ever the silver cord is loosed or the golden bowl is broken –‘ I felt the golden bowl of my soul lifted up and poured out upon the cubical moon-altar; but it must have been that the silver thread was not loosed, for I still lived, though I came as near to death as a man might and yet return.

Cup and sword

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(17)

“But there is likewise in the souls of men a flowing and an ebbing of the tides of life, which no one knows save the wise; and over these tides the Great Goddess presides under her aspect of the Moon. She comes from the sea as the evening star, and the magnetic waters of earth rise in flood. She sinks as Persephone in the western ocean and the waters flow back into the inner earth and become still in that great lake of darkness, wherein are the moon and stars reflected. Therefore is Luna called the giver of visions.”

In the utter darkness, light moves like a tide; even death has a manner of life of its own.

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osiris isis

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(18)

I found myself in the strange high-prowed boat called Millions of Years wherein Osiris voyages, and I was Osiris. Beside me were the gods that travelled with me, that were also my other selves: Horus, Toom and the Kephra beetle …

And so we travelled over the dark waters of the lake of the underworld to come to the Queen of the Dead, my magical bride. And as we drew towards her the light increased till it was the light of the room at the fort, and at the far end I saw Morgan sitting. And as I looked, I saw her begin to change from silver into gold, and a glowing aura of all the colours of the rainbow sprang out around her. Her sleeping eyes opened into an amazing animation of life, and she glowed with life like a glorious dawn. Then the tide that had flowed from me to her turned and flowed back from her to me, and I felt my life returning to me, but different, for it had been made one with the life of the Goddess. Then she sang, and I knew that this was Isis, unveiled and dynamic:

“I am the star that rises from the sea
the twilight sea …

The tides of all men’s souls belong to me.
The tides that ebb and flow and ebb again;
the silent, inward tides that govern men
are my secrets, these belong to me.

Out of my hands he takes his destiny.
Touch of my hands confers polarity.
These are the moon-tides, these belong to me –
Hera in heaven, on earth Persephone;
Levanah of the tides, and Hecate.
Diana of the Moon, Star of the Sea,
Isis Unveiled and Ea, Binah, Ge!”

And all the while she sang, her weaving hands stroked my soul and drew it out.

Then slowly, with no stir save the flutter of her draperies, Morgan moved towards the window. I did not follow her. I was incapable of movement …   The balustrading had gone in the storm, and there was nothing between her and the sea; the moonlight fell full on her and made her robe glitter, but against the brighter glitter of the sea she was almost invisible. She went on down the point to the very end, where the flat table of rock (where we had built the fire of Azrael from juniper, sandal and cedar) lay just below the surface, for it only appeared at the neap.

But I was powerless to move, being as one bound.

I could only just see her now, for her silver robe was almost invisible against the treacherous glitter of the water. Then a cloud crossed the moon, and when it had gone I saw a light mist was coming in from the sea in long drifts, and I could no longer distinguish her through its uncertain haze.

dragon meets Isis, 1987

dragon meets Isis, 1987

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Wilfred Maxwell suffered a grief and broken-ness; he kept going through a year of grey bereavement, loss and humdrum life, and of the enigmatically dead.

sketch of Dion Fortune 2008

sketch of Dion Fortune 2008

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(19)

A LETTER: “To the one to whom these star sapphires are given: The soul of a man came into my hands; it is now passing into yours. In order to achieve a certain thing, I sacrificed this man. If I have done my work rightly, the burden of humanity is perhaps a little lighter; the road will not be quite so difficult for those who come after. But that does not help this man.

“If you can make yourself a priestess of the great spiritual principle which is behind womanhood, you will be able to help him. Meditate upon the Moon. She will awaken your womanhood and lend you power. May the Great Goddess bless you and help you.”

“Do you understand it?” said Molly.

“Partly,” said I.

Brean Down

Brean Down

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(20)

Molly had been communing with the Moon, as Morgan had instructed … I heard the bells in the water, and knew that this was no earthly tide we were hearing … the blend of moonlight and firelight was very strange and dazzled the eyes. The moonlight fell on the fire and made it look like an opal amid its grey ash; the curling smoke and its shadows took on the appearance of squirming creatures rising out of the coals, and I remembered the medieval tales of salamanders.

The odour of the incense woods kept on coming to us in wafts, and it seemed to me as if the fire must be smoking a good deal; meanwhile the sound of the sea filled the room till it hummed like a shell. Something uncanny was at foot, and Molly knew it just as well as I did.

Then suddenly we saw that where the moonlight fell upon the smoke, a form was taking shape; the smoke no longer rose in slow eddying whorls, but hung in folds like drapery. I watched it rise in front of the chimney breast as if the fire were smoking; and then out of the formless soft grey we saw a head and shoulders emerge, and the Atlantean Priest of the Moon stood before us as I had so often seen him with the mind’s eye, with his shaven head and ascetic hawk’s face. The eyes were dark and sparkling and very much alive. The moonlight and smoke were amorphous, but the eyes were not.

Then he began to speak as he had spoken in the rite out at the fort.

Whether Molly and I heard with the inner ear and saw with the inner eye, or whether it was the eyes and ears of flesh that apprehended the Priest of the Moon, I do not know; it was more like a waking dream than anything else, and yet it was as clear-cut as a diamond. I saw it was to Molly that he was speaking, and that I was a mere spectator; and I remembered that in most ancient times, when Great Isis was worshipped, it was the women who were dynamic, and it was not until corruption came upon the pagan world that the priests took all the power.

I heard the voice of the Atlantean Priest of the Moon going on and on, talking to his young priestess, and it seemed to me that I was sinking back into the same state I had been in when I travelled in the Boat of the Dead over the underworld waters, and I wondered whether on my return, I should see Molly glow all golden as I had seen Morgan do.

“And even as the Queen of Hades is the daughter of the Great Mother, so from the Great Sea rises golden Aphrodite, giver of love. And she also is Isis after another manner.

“Equilibrium is fixed in inertia until outer space oversets the balance and the All-father pours forth to satisfy the hunger of space. Strange and deep are these truths; verily they are keys to the lives of men and women, unknown to those that worship not the Great goddess.

“Golden Aphrodite comes not as the virgin, the victim, but as the Awakener, the desirous One. As outer space she calls, and the All-father commences the courtship. She awakens Him to desire, and the worlds are created. Lo, she is the Awakener. How powerful is she, golden Aphrodite, the awakener of manhood!

botticelli birth of venus

“But all these things are one thing. All the goddesses are one goddess and we call her Isis, the All-woman, in whose nature all natural things are found; virgin and desirous by turn; giver of life and bringer-in of death. She is the cause of creation, for she awakens the desire of the All-father and for her sake, He creates. Likewise the wise call all women Isis.

“In the face of every woman let man look for the features of the Great Goddess, watching her phases through the flow and return of the tides to which his soul answers; listening for her call. O daughters of Isis, adore the Goddess, and in her name give the call that awakens and rejoices. So shall you be blessed of the Goddess and live with fullness of life.

“Now this is the rite of the worship of Isis. Let the priestess show forth the Goddess to the worshipper. Let her assume the crown of the underworld. Let her arise all glorious and golden from the sea of the primordial and call to him that loves her to come forth and come unto her. Let her do these things in the name of the Goddess, and she shall be even as the Goddess unto him, for the Goddess will speak through her. All-powerful shall she be in the Inner as crowned Persephone, and all-glorious in the Outer as golden Aphrodite. So shall she be a priestess in the eyes of the worshipper of the Goddess, who by his faith and dedication shall find the Goddess in her. For the rite of Isis is life; and that which is done as a rite shall show forth in life. By the rite is the Goddess drawn down to her worshippers; her power enters into them, and they become the substance of the sacrament.”

Then the moonlight faded and a shift of the shore wind silenced the sea and we were alone in the darkness, Molly and I, for the Priest of the Moon had gone; and in the darkness we sat together silently for a long while.   From that silent communing we came back knowing many things. And I took Molly in my arms in a way I had never done before, and something suddenly flowed between us like warm light; it encircled us in a single aura so that our lives mingled and interchanged and stimulated each other and then flowed back to us, and I was reminded of the flow and interchange of force that had taken place in the rite I had worked with Morgan.

We just stood there silently in front of the fire, now sunk to a dull red glow; neither could see the other; we were almost unaware of each other; then suddenly I felt the thing that Molly was letting flow out to me so unreservedly in her giving, and knew it was the same thing that Morgan had invoked deliberately by her strange knowledge, and that it was using ignorant, innocent Molly because the conditions of her soul were right for it, she being a woman and in love.

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sketch of Dion Fortune, 2008 (2)

sketch of Dion Fortune, 2008 (2)

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Writing these extracts brought them to vivid life for me, because to follow and absorb Dion Fortune’s thought and images in this way, is like playing the piano, fingers on keys; in tempo cantando.

I left out several important episodes, including Wilfred’s asthma and its origin – his presumption in an ancient past life, to give himself to the Goddess, to die into Her as her lover, to submit to slow drowning by the tide coming into the elder cave – for no man could look on Her naked, and live. In the re-enactment, Wilfred said again, “I will take the path that leads to the well-head beside the white cypress.”   Between Her out-held palms, his very life was being drawn in: (“I am the soundless, boundless, bitter sea …”) – but his offering, fulfilled in deep time, evolved. He died slowly into being born.

In the ancestral reverence, conception, orgasm and birth are One. There are nuances through which the tremor stills, like the sea when the wind has dropped: and then we may be and see – through the glass no longer dark, but clear. We see as we are the beyond: the sacramental sound of the bell.

This is in my deep. It does not happen literally. Yet there are opportunities every day to “culture” respect, the care and reverence. This priority replaces social tension. This priority is below the radar, being relatively free from turbulence of desire and drama, and potentially pure.

Let Mother Isis visit and kindle Her fire on the sea, as and when it touches Her vibrant breath on the waves.

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baby matilda

baby matilda

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

What is a School of the Soul?

What is a school of the soul?

A school is a training ground. A soul is a story within stories of life.

This post is based on my notes during a Kabbalah group meeting.

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Tree of school of the soul, by Halevi

Tree of school of the soul, by Halevi

I think a school of the soul is a disciplined environment whose collective string is tuned by agreement to a subtle or divine frequency. It is like an orchestra.  In practice, a school may have a practical, a ceremonial or a contemplative bias.   Kabbalahsociety is a contemplative group.  We do field work, and  we meet regularly for an exchange of anecdotes, humour, and observation.  We observe human geology, political tensions and our tidal process, and refer these phenomena to the Tree of Life. The tutor’s skill keeps a tight ship – a light touch on the tiller.

ship anchor Emblem Praenesis

Some of us received an early training in schools which developed issues of power and property and went wrong.  Through this, our unconscious projections were exposed:  there are no accidents in the work.  The initial discipline planted a good experiential framework in the side pillars.  Nothing is wasted.

The basic requirements of a school of the soul are simple: a place and time for meeting;  an invocation to open and close the Tree:  harmony in the working group.  We are courteous, speaking when our turn is given, and not to argue a position. Companions come and go, they are not coerced.   The laws of Providence regulate our attendance and individual contribution – as any wise tutor recognises.

Some schools get corrupted by the perennial human weakness for power, sex and money at the top. A regime of fear percolates down a hierarchy whose arteries harden and block the outlet.  In fact, it may be our fate to confront thus, our private tyrannies, and so these opportunities were given.  They became converted to an inner discipline, so that we may bond with kindred spirits.

Out of many thousands among men,
one may endeavor for perfection,
and of those who have achieved perfection,
hardly one knows Me in truth.

Bhagavad Gita, chapter 7

angel sieves wheat from chaff Emblem 8

What is the percentage in the world, of those in the Work?  It boils down to about 6,000 committed souls world wide – a homeopathic potency across the human grain.

In some societies, much energy goes into property maintenance, publicity and funding;  the real schools where real work is being done, are rare.  They operate within a different radar.

The Kabbalahsociety emphasises transparency, personal discipline and maturity – a ripening process over the decades. The side  pillars of Revelation and Reason are balanced through the the centre KAV or stem of Jacobs’ Ladder.  Levels of soul and spirit are discriminated through this tool, a barometer of the world – a staff of light.

Jacobs Ladder, by Halevi

Jacobs Ladder, by Halevi

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Menorah Seven and Three

Menorah Seven and Three

The key is the Menorah.

As individuals, we are each a school of the soul in bud, with our teaching input, our relationships, personal vision, wisdom and responsibility in the world, to keep practicing.

Menorah, rose & candle

Melchisedek became Enoch, and was released from the frame of human time. He walked with God, and he was not:  for God took him. The commands  – do not steal, do not adulterate – are foundational.  We learn to recognise daily the vegetable, animal and human principles and character around us. If our conduct is correct we are living the Kabbalah, and we start to see the Principles at work.

It is good to talk of a school of a soul, and to recall that my private life is a school of the soul, in microcosm. As the path clears some way through Karmic road works, cones and bypasses, it flows.   I flow.  Rules may be enacted, but the Law is discovered through lived experience.  Before the Emperors came to power, the Romans had begun to build Greek principles of democratic government into a forum.

A flexible seeing psychology is a forum:  a capacity for examination and a socratic inner questioning.

bitter sweet Emblem 5

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The Holy One generates through all our cosmic history, through tsim-tsum and the glory of the worlds and each “moment now” of the ‘big bang’, a potential towards wholeness and healing, which is perfection. From a tiny apple pip grows a TREE.

Since ever the book of time opened, the tsim tsum – breath of the Holy One – creates an interval for manifestation – the asymmetry or stress, by which we live and desire and grow. A rainbow’s perfect circle through fire and dew in the physical world is bound to fade and vanish.  Planetary and galactic orbits are elliptical, and so is the egg and the tiny seed:  the ellipse is our sustenance.  In embryo and cellular multiplication, in spiral plant growth, in the animal kingdom and in all human difficulty, the ellipse prevails, as evolution.

Justice is the curve of evolution.

Like a pendulum, the dynamic through the Tree and in our lives moves towards a greater manifestation of the whole; the divine Platonic Circle is  seeded in our soul. From within every spiritual tradition and cosmology, the Holy One “enjoys the interplay”. We say, “This is Hell, but it is interesting” – as psychological crises prompt awakening through black eyes, broken noses, religious intolerance, greed and climate change.

Wood bird yantra

Wood bird yantra

We had a group discussion on philanthropic millionaires who can give money intelligently where governments cannot – Bill Gates is informed enough to drop ten million quid in the right place. Wealthy students support the teacher. Youngsters and lottery winners are ruined by the pests of unearned wealth.  The general election rises and falls on the pendulum.

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We show on our walls, the professional tools of our trade – like a plumber’s certificates – to reassure customers or seekers. A portrait artist can reveal beyond any photo,  a  sitter’s private trust and humanity. In the midst of life, I value my tutor’s integrity and personal quirks and enclosures. He is “elliptical” – a growing-towards – just as I am. Along the Fourth Way (Ouspensky) we come into the School and move into solitude, or move from solitude into the School –  the movement, bridges the inner and outer worlds. Nothing is wasted.

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young nymph, 1957

young nymph, 1957

This poem plays with planetary Sefiroth in Plato’s cave:

Chess Cabale (2004)

“Who sports in the Self” is no one person,
but feeling a greater Circle arise
around a candle flame;

and within each smaller Circle –
“gathered here
are Companions of the Light.”

Here are the dreaming Moon and Mercurious child:
Aphrodite, blacksmith’s wife, disarms her warrior Ares;
great Zeus of mercy and thunderbolts, leaps with his entire Olympiad
from Chronos’ tight bowel, measure of time and mind;
while Wisdom, magus of stars
touches the daisies …

Circling the Sun, the Wanderers pass
as shadows through my cave.
Watching nature’s fiery hieroglyph
upon platonic walls, I love
my pageant – knights and damsels wrestling
dragons … eros.

Companions of the Light form a Circle, times a circle.
Companions of the Knight mounting trusty Cabale
square the Circle, speed of light.

When first shown the Tree,
I held not yet my life.

young Theseus

young Theseus 1957

No more could brave Theseus lift his heavy stone
to find his father underneath,
till he’d wrestled three good years
and more.

Through negative film,
our faces appear distorted,
lantern raised a little only,
above the trail.

From the forest cave
with birds’ throat at break of dawn,
the Knight of holy Graal
riding Cabale with questing sword
squares his circle onward, inward –
grace, restraint –
by lions’ strength, beholding beauty.

The Masters’ Eye, 1992, 2004

 

talking

talking, 1957

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of Staves 5 and 6: Ravana Falls

Continuing the Sacred India Tarot Archive by Jane Adams and Rohit Arya:

In thy valorous strength - rosicrucean emblem 2

In thy valorous strength – rosicrucean emblem 2

We all have our interior demons and resistances to fight:  and in the world out there, they are plain to see.  In the present era of Pluto (upheaval and transformation) moving through Capricorn (established institutions), nothing can be hidden any longer – all is visible, each shadow is upturned to the light.  Every hoary Karmic poison along the centuries erupts into a birth-bed for the new Dharma – a changed order of human values.  Pluto went into Capricorn in 2008 with a financial crash, and will enter Aquarius in 2023/24.

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It is interesting to note that in the Indian mythology, demons are rarely evil per se.  They are gifted forces of the mind and spirit.  They have a tendency to overrun their citadels and cause the chaos and self-doubt that every creative artist must navigate.  The Yoga Vasishta is filled with stories of powerful demons who attained enlightenment, humility and liberation through the intensity of their concentrated tapas – spiritual practice over the aeons.  Brahma the creator-god could refuse them nothing:  the demonic force has this potential for purity.  Therefore there was always a respectful interaction between the gods and the demons – see card 6 (above) in the Sacred India Tarot: the story of Kaccha and Devyani.   For the gods, the demonic energy is at source divine, and they cannot live without it.  The Greek word “daemon” is a creative spirit.

Rohit’s writing below, throws an interesting slant onto the demonic “bhakti” – the constant focus in the demon’s mind, on God as the foe, in due course liberates.

In the Ramayana, Ravana the demon King overreached himself by kidnapping Rama’s wife Sita;  in so doing, he put the cosmic balance out of order, and faced defeat.

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Visual reference for Kumbhakarna

Visual reference for Kumbhakarana

Rohit Arya’s Notes – 2003

Card Five – Kumbhakarana Falls.  Kumbhakarana is to be depicted as an enormous armoured giant, holding a huge club towering over Ravana and the rest of the battlefield.  He has four fiery arrows stuck in him which will lop off his legs from the knees and the arms from the elbows, while the fifth arrow fired by Rama is about to cut off his head.  The five wands could be depicted as five fiery arrows that Rama uses to kill the giant brother of Ravana.

From Rohit’s Book with the Deck:

Kumbhakarana, middle brother to Ravana and Vibheeshana, takes the field against Rama.  It is an action born of desperation, for the Rakshasa (demon) forces have been decimated in the preceding days … Kumbhakarana is the most gigantic warrior in the universe, a great intellectual and highly spiritually developed.  He shares Vibheeshana’s opinion that Ravana’s incompetent blundering has brought them to disaster, but war is upon them and he selflessly agrees to do his duty. 

He knows that Rama is God, but in his estimation nothing could be more honourable than to die for his country.  Death at Rama’s hands is guaranteed liberation, and Kumbhakarana is disgruntled with his unlucky life.  He has been tricked by the Devas into sleeping for six months at a stretch, awakening for only a day.  Ravana has untimely roused him, and his strength is not at its peak.  Nevertheless he unleashes carnage of a ghastly and terrifying nature that forces Rama himself to fight. 

This is a unique and startling form of Bhakti – devotion to God – called ‘vipareetha karani’, the path of opposition.  You literally fight with God, as the foe is ever present in the enemy’s mind.  This is a tamasic (inertia-inducing) form of meditation and constant awareness of the Divine.  It guarantees liberation, but at the cost of your life!  It is the rocket route to the Divine.  Kumbhakarana chooses this conflict-path to achieve what would otherwise take many lifetimes. 

Rama understands this, and is also pleased with his heroic loyalty to his people. 

This card signifies inner and outer growth:  a struggle and challenge confidently taken up – perhaps a group effort or sharing of creative endeavour.  Lessons that life teaches in battle.  Place spiritual priorities above mundane ones.  Patience is well rewarded, but lots of it is required.  Martial arts.  Focus on one thing and see it through.

Shadow:  Trying to take on more than you can handle – an inflated sense of power.  Blindly supporting and following the leader.  Confusion in thinking leads to flailing about:  quarrels and disputes, vainglorious boasting.  Overwork and strain impacts health – the card of the moonlighter!  Irritation with incompetence.  Wishful thinking and writers block.  Young children act up.

Your expectations are getting in the way of what is actually possible.  Are you competing or getting into an impossible situation?

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Jane’s Notes

There are parallels here with the Eight and the Nine of Arrows, where the great warrior king surrenders his life to Krishna, understanding that he will at last be liberated from his duty.

This great demon – Kumbhakarana – also had a duty: his loyalty to the Lord Ravana and the realm of the rakshasas.  His willingness to disable his own magnificence, to be Ravana’s fore-runner in defeat, and to agree to fight when not at the peak of his powers, is an astonishing and moving sight.  His hands holding weapons, appear to be raised in surrender.  The deep intelligence is in his eyes;  the out-thrust tongue is demonic like a gargoyle, yet also giving his all.

I painted Rama lightly armed, as befits a young David to this Goliath.  Accuracy of aim takes priority over displays of martial magnificence.  He shoots the demon in five places. The outline of Kumbhakarana’s human pentagram begins to collapse.

Rama aims at the third eye – the coup de grace.   I found it difficult to arrange the scenes in these long narrow cards compositionally:  yet the great demon on his mountain range suggests a different dimension of space and time.

Psychologically it is an extraordinary event to meet and engage with these forces in the soul.

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Sacred India Tarot - Five of Staves/Wands

Sacred India Tarot – Five of Staves/Wands

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Rohit Arya’s Notes – 2003

Card Six: Victory – Ravana Falls. This should be easy to depict, though one arrow should be clearly penetrating the navel of Ravana which was where he stored the elixir that renewed him each time he was wounded or had a head cut off. We need only Rama and Ravana in the card, though celebrating monkeys in the background might bring out the ‘Victory’ aspect of the card meaning.

visual reference for the fall of ravana

visual reference for the fall of ravana

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(respect for demons – yoga vasishta – tifareth 6 – danda – dharma – guru mantra)

From Rohit’s Book with the Deck
Ravana has destroyed the resources of his kingdom and sent all his generals and relatives to their death, but he is still intransigent about releasing Sita.  He is in thrall to his rapidly fraying reputation, still manifesting aplomb and insouciance in a cataclysmic situation.  He has assumed his most fearful form, convinced that the fame of his exploits combined with his horrible shape will dazzle and intimidate Rama – the yokel from the forests.

He has rested on his laurels so much that he cannot, dare not, recognise his slide into delusional ineptitude.

Rama is called the image or embodiment of Dharma.  Rama is beyond form so everybody projects their own ideal upon him.  Hence his chameleon-like appearance in the suit.  For Ravana, he is a meek, forest dwelling hermit – hence he appears so.

For all Ravana’s strength of belief, danda has descended upon him in the form of Rama’s astras.  Rama uses the Brahmastra – the deadliest arrow (speculated to be a nuclear weapon) created by Brahma.  Ravana wasn’t totally wrong in feeling invulnerable.  Only the final never-to-be-used weapon could vanquish him;  it was a small validation.

Rama sends Laxmana to hear the dying words of what was the Age’s mightiest king: “Do not put off till tomorrow the good you could do today.  I could have turned the oceans into sweet water and been hailed as a benefactor of humanity.  Now I die with tarnished glory as a kidnapper of the wives of others.”

It is an astonishing summation of wasted potential and opportunity.

In a card reading:  victory and success.  Triumph and recognition of one’s work;  public acclaim.  Vindication of one’s course of action – freedom from fears and anxieties.  Very good for students and intellectuals.  Period of unusual resilience and recuperative powers. Reaching the next level of skill or qualifications.  Aggressively seeking the limelight.

Shadow:  resting on past laurels – a legend in one’s own mind.  A conclusive victory eludes you.  Too proud to acknowledge one is losing it – “remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.”

Don’t let all this acclaim inflate you to absurd levels of self aggrandisement.  What new challenges do you need to take up?

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Sacred India Tarot - six of Staves/wands

Sacred India Tarot – six of Staves/wands

Jane’s Notes
The missile enters the dantien – the source of all Ravana’s delusional heads.  The dantien (below the navel) is our body’s gravitational and subtle centre:  through yoga and t’ai ch’i, it  can earth and quieten the mind’s electricity.  This card is like the Tower – to collapse walls of falsehood or belief.

The danda (see Rohit’s description above) is a sacred staff.  It is traditionally used by hermits and aryas, and placed in temples.  Throughout the suit of Staves/Wands, the danda plays a significant role, as conduit of power and authority.  Rohit mentions also the astra – the weapon by which Ravana was slain.  Astras are intense aerial vibrations:  a focused mantra is an astra – it commands the elements by force of sound and concentration.

See the Guru Mantra Bhashya in this blog, and Part 2 of the same, for the rich symbolism of danda and astra.

The danda lends its name to a game played in India:

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Correspondence – Rohit’s feedback on cards 5 and 6 of Staves

Wand 5 – The energy and power in this card is great, and the Kumbhakarana is perfect.  Rama needs some golden body armour and the moustache needs to go.  As a composition it perfectly conveys the sense of the card.  The monkey’s vantage point of the events on the card is a nice touch.

Wand 6 – Rama needs to be depicted in accordance with the rest of the suit, he has suddenly taken to wearing a dhoti, he has a moustache and no helmet or armour.  But the composition is fine, and the Ravana is a superb example of unrepentant defiance.

Correspondence – Jane: 
Re Rama – all the examples you sent me had him moustachio’d, and so do books here, so I thought that was the way he is traditionally represented;  with the possibility he might sometimes shave for Sita!  Or the fact that an epic such as this covers much spacetime – note that the buddha series also changes the physical features somewhat, according to his states of wisdom.  Anyway, we can adjust this detail if required.  I shall also add some body armour to the shooting of Ravana’s brother.

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The fall of Ravana and his brother remind me of another great bowman in our Sacred India Tarot Archive:

Sacred India Tarot card 16 - Siva Tripurantaka - the Tower.  With his arrow or astra, Siva pulverised three demon cities which were aligned for just a second, once every thousand years.

Sacred India Tarot card 16 – Siva Tripurantaka – the Tower. With his arrow or astra, Siva pulverised three demon cities which ravaged the universe but were aligned for just a second, once every thousand years.

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

 

Jane Adams

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

All original art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – 3 & 4 of Staves: Dislodging Ravana

Visual Reference - Ravana

Visual Reference – Ravana

Continuing this series from the Sacred India Tarot Archive, the creation of Two of Staves – it is extraordinary what may befall an intellectual and spiritual giant who wears too many hats.

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visual reference sent by rohit

visual reference sent by rohit

Rohit Arya’s Notes – 2003
“Three of Wands/Staves – Ravana rejects good counsel.  The illustration is good enough to serve as the basic template, except that Ravana is to look angrier.  He does not realise that finally he has found somebody who has the strength and ability to stand up to him, something his counsellors realise only too well, but he is still banking on past glory to see him through.  The three wands could be three flaming torches that illumine the scene.”

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ravana_jpg_rzd_by Rachael Mayo

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Rohit’s remarks on the hubris that can overwhelm the spiritually gifted are so interesting, that I quote them here, in full:

From Rohit’s Book on the Deck
“Ravana, a shape-shifting sorcerer, manifests his fearsome, ten-headed, many-armed form in his outrage.  He has been truthfully told that Rama and his army are invincible, but he dislikes such honesty.  He has been the greatest warrior of the age, the very gods have submitted to his power, and the entire universe pays tribute to Lanka.  Never has such power and glory been seen in the world.  To have to bend before mere humans (rakshashas eat them when in the mood!) and with Vanara allies, is an intolerable humiliation. 

“Ravana was actually a Brahmin rakshasa, the greatest scholar of his time, having written treatises on ayurveda, the performing arts, and on machines of war.  His titanic power arose from the fact that he was a great devotee of Siva, and was capable of tremendous tapasya (spiritual austerities).  His Siva Tandava Stotram is one of the greatest devotional hymns known to man. 

“It is difficult for such a being not to have an inflated sense of self.  Faced with Rama, his equal in every way, and another great devotee of Siva, he simply could not summon the awareness that in kidnapping Sita, he had committed a blunder that would devastate his people. 

Danda stave

“A person who has been supernaturally successful is immune to any suggestion that does not please.  In Ravana’s case, nothing failed him as much as his success.  The brightly flaring Staves are Kala Danda – the staff of time, the remorseless chastisement of hubris that descends upon one in the grip of hamartia – the talent and force of personality that takes you to the pinnacle and is the seed of your ultimate destruction.  Ravana is succumbing to the Shadow side of the card.

If this card appears in a reading: 

“Light – the first great success in life:  take decisive action, knowledge is power.  Seek advice and counsel – need for a global perspective.  Enterprising and creative phase.  Good health … and writers have a creative purple patch.

“Shadow – Complacency and arrogance because of early success.  Addicted to euphoria and to dangerous risks.  Toxic arrogance – promising leads and ventures are deflated.  Outright failure and defeat.  Do not offend people around you, as you will need them soon. The past is catching up with you;  is that good news or bad news?

sita four of staves visual reference ravana 2

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Jane’s Notes
My impression is of the fragmenting or disintegration of a citadel of wisdom.  The ageless wisdom is simple: knowledge about it gathers complexity like a wheel through mud.  It accumulates priesthoods to maintain, maidenly trophies to win, and properties to defend.

Here is the finished card:

Sacred India Tarot Three of Wands - Ravana rejects counsel

Sacred India Tarot Three of Wands – Ravana rejects counsel

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Kala Danda is the staff of time.  Within it is coiled the cyclic time of global tide and rotation. In the ancient world, the staff of life transmitted an electric currency of healing or destruction, as harnessed by its user.

caduceus

It is said that the 4 sacred volumes of Hermes, containing the laws, science and theology of Egypt, correspond to 4 volumes of the Vedas, which the Puranas say were carried into Egypt by the Yadavas at the first emigration to that country from Hindustan.

If we travel any of the great sacred rivers upstream, we find their common source.  Who came first, the chicken or the egg?  the Vedic Hymns or upper Egypt?

Osiris and Thoth with "staves" of power and life

Osiris and Thoth with “staves” of power and life

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Part Two – Four of Staves:  Ravana’s Brother Defects to Rama

sita four of staves visual reference

This depicts Ravana’s dislodged power as it leaves him through an emissary – his own brother negotiates with Rama.

Rohit Arya’s Notes 2003
“The illustration shows Rama promising to protect Vibheeshana, brother of Ravana against the advice of his monkey allies.  Rama’s hand is in abhaya mudra;  Vibheeshana is the figure with folded hands, third from left.

From Rohit’s Book with the Deck
“Vibheeshana, youngest brother of Ravana, has defected to Rama’s camp.  His irascible brother has just threatened to kill him, if he continued to remonstrate about the kidnapping of Sita and the annihilation awaiting them.  Vibheeshana knows that Rama is an avatar of Vishnu and invincible.  He also understands that not a stone of Lanka will be left standing, nor one rakshasha left alive to weep over the ruins, if the mad folly of Ravana continues unabated.

“To save his race and their civilisation, he seeks refuge with Rama … Vibheeshana has been granted enlightenment and immortality by Brahma, but he is still a fearsome looking rakshasha.  Even his name means ‘Terrible to behold’.  The Vanaras are suspicious of his defection.  Rakshashas are notorious for cannibalism, genocide and plunder, not for wisdom and enlightenment …  Their suspicion changes to puzzlement when Rama nobly accepts the plea of Vibheeshana … promising to spare all non-combatant rakshashas and crowning Vibheeshana king of the new golden city, instead of annexing it to his own kingdom. 

In a reading:
“Light – Auspicious and propitious: feelings of joy and celebration.  Relax and wait, as success is there.  The card of the builder and decorator.  Favourable interventions by seniors and powerful people:  happy marriages. 

“Shadow – Delays.  Property dealings are especially hampered.  Unmerited anxiety, tension and nervousness – a break or gap in work or career;  holding back out of fear.  Success is certain, but may be delayed.  What foundations can you lay now, that will endure?

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Sacred India Tarot, Four of Staves - Rama welcomes Vibheeshana

Sacred India Tarot, Four of Staves – Rama welcomes Vibheeshana

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Rohit’s Feedback to Three and Four of Staves:
Wand 3While the feeling of the demons scattering before the petulant wrath of Ravana is clear, there does not seem to be a clear focal point to the card.  The demons in the foreground are perhaps too distracting.  Perhaps they could be replaced with a couple of demons on chairs ringed round the demon king, holding their heads because they know their master has condemned all of them to destruction?   

“The Ravana itself is a powerful and fascinating figure, but the card seems to be hanging somewhat in a context-less limbo.  Should we make the Ravana bigger and neater (more complete in regions like the crown and lower torso?)  It looks a bit unfinished compared to the other cards.”

(I do not recall if I altered this card or not.  We may have agreed it should stay the same, depicting an unstable situation where the shakti power held tightly by the demonic empire, begins to release.  An abyss opens up before Ravana’s throne.)

Rohit continues:  “Wand 4 – This is a very lovely card, and the observant and puzzled monkey is a delightful touch.  I would not change any of it.  I especially like the fact that Vibheeshana though a good demon, is nevertheless still a demon and looks grotesque.  It adds a very sharp edge to Rama’s unconditional extension of grace and protection granted to all who ask, even demons.

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Jane’s Notes
Yes – there is a beauty in confronting these strange beings of the underworld.

Meeting - 1987

An interesting psychological point concerning demons:  they are forces of energetic consciousness, and they are not always negative.  The Yoga Vasishta teems with stories of great demons who attained to holiness through the force of their spiritual concentration – every raw force in the subconscious psyche has capacity to transform and to transmute.

The Greek daemon is a creative expression.

The child-hobbits to the right, are descending to the alchemical region below the forces of Karma which play on the surface landscape.  1987

The child-hobbits to the right, are descending to the alchemical region below the forces of Karma which play on the surface landscape. 1987

The demons in Lanka faced destruction through their king’s arrogance.  Up to this point, they were effective guardians in the balance of nature.

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photo by tarananda shiva

photo by tarananda shiva

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

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Jane Adams

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

All original art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

From the Album: Bishops Rock and Oak Creek

trinosofia interior cave of light_0001On earth there are places of enchantment and of power. They speak.

The red rocks in the Sedona landscape are a temple transcending their human worshippers.  Shamans hear their pulse; gated billionaires build their towns around them …

Here are a few more pictures from my albums – taken when I went there to meet Robert Adams in 1996, shortly before he passed away:  a picture post.

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Peace.

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View towards Thunder mountain

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robert-awakening

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Robert and the Tanya

 

Arcanum 0 - the Fool:  A pilgrim in Sedona.  (In the distance you can see the peak called Thunder Mountain, at the foot of which Robert lived)

Arcanum 0 – the Fool: A pilgrim in Sedona. (In the distance you can see the peak called Thunder Mountain, at the foot of which Robert lived)

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When I met Robert Adams in 1996, the surrounding Arizona landscape spoke volumes to me of his teaching and his face and eyes.  I walked and explored each day into the sacred red rock wilderness:   Robert’s Ashram.  At the end of my booklet “Imponderables” – (see the last four posts) – I included the following Kabbalah passage from the Lubavitcher Tanya, which also spoke and sang to me of Robert:   about No thing.

Ampitheatre

Ampitheatre – Bishop’s Rock

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From the ‘Tanya':

“… FOR WHEN the intellect in the rational soul deeply contemplates and immerses itself exceedingly in the greatness of G-d, how he fills all worlds and encompasses all worlds, and in the presence of Whom everything is considered as nothing – there will be born and aroused in his mind and thought, the emotion of awe for the Divine Majesty, to fear and be humble before his blessed greatness which is without end of limit, and to have the dread of G-d in his heart.

“Next, his heart will glow with an intense love, like burning coals, with a passion, desire and longing, and a yearning soul towards the greatness of the blessed En Sof.  This constitutes the culminating passion of the soul, of which scripture speaks as ‘my soul thirsts for G-d, my soul longs for thee.’  This thirst is derived from the element of Fire, which is found in the divine soul.  As students of natural science affirm, and so it is also in the Tree of Life, the element of Fire is in the heart, whilst the source of Water and moisture is in the brain (or third eye?) … referring to the faculty of Hokhmah called ‘the water of the divine soul’.

“The rest of the seven emotional attributes of man are all offshoots of fear and love and their derivations.

Da’at, whose etymology is found in the verse: ‘And Adam knew Eve’, implies union.  It is that faculty which binds one’s mind with a very firm and strong bond to, and firmly fixes one’s thought on, the greatness of the blessed En Sof, without diverting one’s mind.

“Even one who is wise and understanding of the greatness of the blessed En Sof will not – unless he binds his knowledge and fixes his thought with firmness – create in his soul true love and fear, but only vain fancies.”

From the ‘TANYA’ Ch.3
by Rabbi Schneur of Liadi, 1787

NOTES
En Sof – ‘without end’, the Infinite, ‘has no beginning
Hokhmah – revelation, wisdom, ‘the potentiality of what’ – the second of the Ten Sefiroth or emanations of En Sof
Da’at – unknown cognition, awe, abyss.  Union of worlds and of man with woman.  Knowledge in the sense of concentration.

tanya bishops rock

The meaning of these three letters within Bishop’s Rock – Aleph, Cheth, Daleth – is ‘EChD – from One to Oneness’.  It emerges from the infinite Silence, and returns into the Silence.

The fear and love of God are Gevurah and Hesed on the Tree of Life:  the soul triad’s equilibrium.

Tree of Life with Robert's teaching of Four Principles, Three Vehicles and Three Virtues.  Note Gevurah and Hesed - constraints/severity and grace:  the fear and the love.

Tree of Life with Robert’s teaching of Four Principles, Three Vehicles and Three Virtues. Note Gevurah and Hesed – constraints/severity and grace: the fear and the love.

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When Robert was a teenager in New York, he woke up saying “God … God … God” – who passed his school exams for him while he gazed upon the atoms in class.  He had a Jewish mum and a Catholic dad – or was it the other way round?

To me he said, “it never ends, there is no end”; and he said, “relax“.   He said other things, but I couldn’t understand them through his Parkinsons whisper –  I could only absorb and feel.

Robert profile

Robert’s transmission of the silence between the words, felt part and parcel of  my Kabbalah and alchemy studies.  It is all the One, wearing Joseph’s many coloured coat of dreams, dharma and pilgrimage.  As the Sufis say – from the Source, we return to the Source.  We emerge from God, moving into God.  

Khidr

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From my photo album –
Bishop’s Rock and Oak Creek, Arizona

 “Your Self doesn’t know the answer.
The true Self has no question.
Therefore there is no answer.”

Robert Adams

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Robert’s Imponderables: Part Four

Completing this series of Robert’s sayings in Transcript §85:

Robert in hat

“There never was a time when you were not, and there will never be a time when you disappear.  There is no birth for you, there’s no prevailing of your body, there’s no disappearance.  There is only eternal life . . . Ponder this.”

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robert's hat

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“The mind cannot destroy the mind, pondering cannot destroy the mind, thinking cannot destroy the mind.  The only way to destroy the mind is to inquire, ‘To whom is there a mind?’ . . . Ponder this.”

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“You are already free and liberated, and there’s really nothing you have to do.  Just be your Self . . . Ponder this.”

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hearing Robert whispering

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“To be your Self means that you’re nothing else.  To be your Self means that you’re not the body, nor the mind, nor the world, nor its things.  To be the Self means that you are the imperishable Self, which is all pervading.

“Water cannot drown it, fire cannot burn it.  You are that Self that has always existed.  Some people call the Self ‘God’, some people call the Self ‘Brahman’, some people call the Self ‘choiceless effortless pure awareness’.  It makes no difference what you call the Self.  Just to know you are That, will free you immediately . . . Ponder this.”

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Sedona Landscapes – click on image to view

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“There is really no one who can do anything for you.  I cannot really do anything for you, because I am really in your Self.  There’s no difference between my Self and your Self.  There’s one Self.  Therefore, when you look at me, you see your Self.  What do you see?    . . .  Ponder this.”

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“Ponder the one who has been pondering all this time.”

Wolfie in sedona landscape

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“Ask yourself, ‘Who am I?  Why is it so hard to become the pure unblemished Self?  For whom is it hard?’

“Ask yourself, ‘Why do I think I’m human, and have to go through experiences?’

“Ask yourself . . . Ponder this.”

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“That’s enough pondering.”

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robert xmas eve 3

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/