Tom’s Torch of Time – an Olympic Relay alchemy

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Children of the World 2007 – a drawing done for the Human Rights Aid Foundation

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Here is the Olympic Flame during the Games.  204 children, one child accompanying each nation’s team, carried a bronze petal towards the  creation of the complete torch flame.   The petals when lit, lay as a great mandala over the ground.  As national diversities emerged into unity –  like stamens of a flower – the mandala rose to form the Olympic torch.

Here is the flame from within it, looking up.

My earlier post, Reflections on the Grand Cross (22nd June) touched on the Cardinal Crossroads (17 July) of Pluto in Capricorn, Moon in Cancer, Mars in Libra, Uranus in Aries:  tensions and responses through the antipodeal frame of solstice and equinox.  Many astrologers and seers speak of a profound tipping point;  the relay-release of the old Mayan Great Circle, or frame of time, into the “new” Aquarian Great Circle.  They see violent interactions, and all kind of things.

Our projection onto 2012, when boiled down to essentials, may amount to the handing over of the Torch of Time, through time and space: through the dream.

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Four seasons electron figure-eight

Intense pressure is suffered in a myriad different ways, collectively and individually, as human conscience passes the midpoint of a cosmic “8” – the figure of infinity;  itself a crossing-point of the unbroken Circle.   The dawn of “something new” has no adequate prediction.   The dawn of “something new” is through the neck of the hourglass.  It reflects the old, yet differently.   A young gangster kid may be inspired to break through into athletic training and fellowship – a local quantum leap.  These things happen.

Few of us have the “dancer’s training” to bend and yield and flow with it.   Yet truth is found when we look within ourselves, rather than outward onto the shifting persuasion.  This inner truth is sometimes surprising.  It is like having a view from above, rather than from inside the street’s canyon – to see all the streets, all the connections, the city and its fields.

And … for instance … a TV camera inside a helicopter records a hand-over of the Olympic torch down there in a London street …  or a village …  or a coastal path or remote, rainy field.  The place is lined with flags and inaudible cheering;  a small white clad figure approaches another in the rain;  there is a pause while the flame is stabilized, then off goes the new white clad figure, her arms uplift with joy, her hair down her back;  she seems to float, she is heavy and yet she flies.  She runs like an early Picasso Grecian dancer;  and the ancient happiness punches up into the sky.

I was moved, by something deep and archetypal.  Till then I was “an Olympic sceptic” – I saw chiefly, an extravagance far beyond the British purse, its one heritage being the “greening” of an industrial desert – a reclamation of toxic soils.

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Torch bearer (1955)

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Every carrier of the flame was stirred, carried into an unexpected dimension, and so were the watchers, along its 8,000 miles.  (Or was it 80,000 …?)

Astrologers view the Grand Cross and London’s exact alignment with it, with traditional pessimism.   Yet I also perceived the coming of all the nations together in an estwhile centre of the Common Wealth:  Greenwich meridian 0.  There is a civil vulnerability;  Isn’t there also the potential for a progressive release;  a different gesture?   Alignment with whatever the stress, converts it to an asset, and flows.   It is an art of life.  The forces which move us are so much deeper than we know.

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Leda & Swan (1957)

The euphoria of the Olympic award in July 2005, was swiftly followed by the bombings.  The wake gathered in Trafalgar Square to say “we shall not be defeated, and nor shall we hate.”  In all our minds is that vigilance with the shadow which accompanies the light.   Yet in the passing of anniversaries, the replay of patterns, history “reverberates” beyond our fears.   In the bigger picture of the cycles, there is so little that we actually see.  What we think we see is feudally enclosed by our conditioning.

All we can be sure of, is that we cross again these points, but with a turn of the spiral, rather than a closed circuit.  Thus is Nature and the growth of trees.   The spiral is tight with our history and apprehension;  yet still it is the Great Spring – a planetary kundalini Yantra.   Watch the world, and turn inward;  see “the point of intersection, time with timeless:  an occupation for the saint.”

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Draw a Yantra

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A Kabbalistic meditation this week:  the PRESENT.  The present.   A Present, like a gift – here in this room with its pictures and things, in this block of flats, the noise of cars and trains going by each side, in this neighbourhood … within the event of the Olympic Games in London.  Mostly, this Present is the busy, tiny, teeming moment’s turmoil.   Sometimes this Present is an entire aeon, or aeon of aeons … the Buddha’s breath … NOW.   Into NOW, the tiny things melt for a moment.

What different clocks!   And we can go anywhere.  We can go to before the big bang, behind where all this began …  nothing.   No thing.   Silence.   Space.   Conscious.   The focus of an emanation which is Light – a point – expands.   Let there be Light, and all that becomes.  The tsim tsum is this beginning of the whirlings, gilgalem, the polarized pulse of atomic gravities, so tiny, which turns – the great wheel of the Milky Way – in one of its spiraling arms voyages our little Solar System.   The Vedic gods I realize, with their many arms, are GALAXIES!

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Cosmic egg and wood grain

Then a trip through history, geologic and human, evolving through NOW, always now, to the re-absorbed aeons of ions into the point:  no thing.   Kalpa, the Great Breath.  And open your eyes into this room.   Thou art God.   TAT TWAM ASI.  AHIH ASHER AHIH.   And make the tea!

Time is multi-directional, and also inward.   Time is a petalling flower – each petal is a local clock, and they grow and fall away, and new ones come;   each petal is an electron circuit, a planetary orbit around the stamens of the Sun.

This brings me to Tom’s Torch … and its hundreds of bronze petals.

Thomas Heatherwick, the architect of the Olympic cauldron, is the grandson of Elisabeth Tomalin, who died aged 99, this year.  Elisabeth carried in her tiny, intense, twig-like frame, a century’s history:

http://www.thecnj.com/review/2009/102909/feature102909_01.html

Herself a Jewish refugee from world war 1, Dresden and the Holocaust, she met Jung in Switzerland and made her home in England when she was young.  She worked as a fabric designer for Marks & Spencer, then trained as an art therapist, and returned to Germany in the 1960s, where she pioneered her work among students whose parents had been Nazis, to heal their soul.  She released their creativity through dream interpretation, using water and sand.  In one of her visions, she inherited the link in an unbroken tradition of doctors, whose root was in Israel – this was a comfort to her.   Her story is extraordinary, as the above link shows.   Here is one of her last embroideries which she gave me.  Her hands could not control a brush, but could still sew.   Embroidery, for Elisabeth, was a tapestry of the soul, the colours of lifetimes, in and out:  the flowering landscape of the inner thread.

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Figure of Eight, by Elisabeth Tomalin

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Elisabeth’s burning quest for connectivity, and the wholeness of the soul, made her a difficult companion, to herself and to all her friends.  In her daughter Stefany, her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, that powerful river of the lineage survives and flows.  Her grandson’s imagination is prolific, since childhood.   He is the architect of the Seed Cathedral in the Shanghai Expo, and of holistic buildings patterned on the flow of wood and water, in Britain and all over the world.   He and she were close.

Tom Heatherwicks Seed Cathedral

The Great Work of Alchemy is stealthy, and many of its hands do not know what they do.  Time’s great petals are brought to form a mandala, each is dipped to combine an Olympic flame.   Young persons and athletes without celebrity, brought Tom’s bronze petal-buds each to each.  It is beautiful to remember how the flame traveled around the land, from the Giants Causeway to Trafalgar … villages, lanes and towns, by horse, by boat, by wheelchair, by abseil and by bike.  It atavistically moved people, one didn’t know why, culminating in the great, converging relay.  It is ancient, as the beacons on hills, the messengers along ley lines who carry fire in nests:  the elder earth energy.   It woke something.   Until I saw it, I had no idea what all the fuss was about.

Tom’s Torch – the Miracle

The mandala of the petals of the flame lay on the ground and glowed.  Then every stamen was raised up, like a carousel on stalks, till the One Torch merged, flowed and burned for the world:   Tom’s torch of Time.

The horizontal yantra rose into the vertical stem.

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Torch bearer (1954)

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A Summer Grand Crossroads brings many, many nations together in a world city, to compete, befriend and celebrate;  to pass through each other, and begin to transcend the little cult of the individual – through stretching individual capacity beyond the barriers.  There are problems, furies and triumphs.  We are villagers.

The weatherman on TV last night, announced with relish:  “The weather is improving.  This weekend, for the closing Ceremony, we may look forward to a Bright Gold Medal in the sky!”

Crossroads are places of meeting.  In their centre may be planted a tree, a seat, a garden, a gossip, a conflict, or even a sacred space.

What is my Crossroads?   What is your Crossroads?

How does the river flow and feel?

Even if we in the British economy, suffer “an Olympic Hangover”, this too, shall pass, and is part of our character. Likewise, we chuckle at Danny Boyle’s opening Ceremony, a radical departure from the tradition of the host country to boast about itself.

It is important to recall the  surprise of the revealed Symbol, signifying yet something other, always.

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Sunflower

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Relay – Centaur, Athene and Child (1987)

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Solomon’s Seal:  Flower of Life

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The fire of our Sun creates the light of the world.  The seed creates the form within the Mother Consciousness.  Here, the children return the Flame to its source.

In the seed and the flame is the essence of our humanity. They light the Tree of Life.

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Snowdrop:  In touch, across the Seas (1988)

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

4 thoughts on “Tom’s Torch of Time – an Olympic Relay alchemy

  1. Jane, wonderful to learn about Elizabeth Tomalin’s grandson. I had no idea. That lighting of the cauldron was the highspot of the whole evening. Such a beautiful idea… but for me the Olympics falls very short of this spirit once the race for medals is on. I have also found out about Fr Kolbe. Your painting was right there on the Home page of Our Catholic World. Didn’t have to look far.

  2. Pingback: Inner Journey, finding Botticelli | janeadamsart

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