10 August 2012
Rohit asked me this week to put up the Star on the blog, to progress the Tower energies swirling around; so yesterday I did, and added to it some of the Seal chapter which follows it in my journal.
The Star is perhaps the most benevolent energy in the Tarot. She is there when the walls of the Tower have blown away with the dust. She is there, rebuilding and going deep. She is there, nude and pouring the water of Life from her everlasting Source of nature onto earth and into the pool. Onto earth a delta of the senses flows: a tree’s rings of time ripple across the pool. Lightly her foot rests on the waters. The waters are the collective subconscious. She is a yogic asana, and we can be this way, do it for ourselves, and feel what softens, spreads and opens.
The woman of the Star is truth and contemplation. She heals the Foundation, and ever renews the root and shoot. When we stand and are quiet, we find ourselves.
Here she is again, with AJJA’s verses below:
The Hebrew letter PEH belongs with the Tower. It means “mouth” and “speech”. The tower speaks: the voice of God speaks from a burning bush: I AM. However, the power of this hieroglyph elides with the fluency of the Star. Each Tarot Key makes a seamless Tao with its neighbours.
When we stand and are quiet, we find what we are. We find what THAT is, which troubles us. It is I. Is it I? Simply, I have no form, and yet I am.
The Tower of the Tarot, with its 22 courses of bricks, is a chimney. The Tower or chimney, let down into the earth like a root, is a well. How it transforms.
As above, so below. The Seal of Solomon’s triads, masculine and feminine, likewise ascend and descend through each other in the temple of peace.
She looks down into the well uprising. The walls are gone, and the earth delivers. At the heart and source of every troublous thought, is this deliverance. As Krishnamurti would say: the sacred.
As Douglas Harding would say: just look carefully, and go on looking.
We have to make a deal with our conditioned mental tension, to just lay off for a moment, and let
the attention be.
Many years ago, a bi-polar friend commissioned from me a painting of Gerald Manly Hopkins’ poem: Mind thou hast mountains, cliffs of fall. It was meant to depict the darkness and the terror of the bi-polar abyss. I was in the middle of my Hermetic discovery. I drew: and at once the strata of the mountainous rock fell through into an inner land, sun bathed, of the All Seeing. Hermes Trismegistos the guide, receives the falling soul, like a midwife.
Here’s the sequence:
sketch: Cliffs of Fall 87
The oil painting which followed it, gave me another surprise. A chance configuration of the paint, as I brushed in the sky, revealed a seal’s head soaring into the Upper Worlds. I loved this seal. Its song is the heart and thread of the Tree of Life through all the worlds; this was before I studied Kabbalah. It is a soul connection of the deep. Unfortunately the painting got stolen from my friend when he was ill, and this blurred photograph is my only record of it.
The Seal, Cliffs of Fall
So later on, I reconstructed it for myself, for it has a profound message of hope. The soul falling through the strata of the subconscious in terror and delight, is the seeker. The cave of the heart opens. The little goat on the alp (below) is Capricorn, going about our business. Hermes to the left presides over the journey, and over the landscape of the Underbeing: the treasure house of souls. The composition is a Tree of Life, with Hermes at Hod, and the energy of the quest in Fall at Netzach. Here is a drawing:
and the small painting to replace the lost one:
Cliffs of Fall Version 2
The horizontal and vertical planes cross each other, as in every instrumentation of life: the horizon with the sky. In astrology, the Capricorn Cancer solstice polarity is a coastal path where land and sea meet: the Song of Humanity; the elders and the children: death and birth. Pluto, the orbit of transformation, is now (until 2024) in Capricorn, where he was 240 years ago – the time of Beethoven and Napoleonic wars. Whatever else goes on, profound human values are rediscovered. So deeply does Pluto touch our inmost chords of song, that the astronomers have decided he is not a planet.
Pluto is about the size of our Moon. Pluto is more – Pluto transcends his binary rotation with his moon Charon. Pluto is the hundreds of fragments and asteroids of the Kuiper Belt – whose gravitational drift forms a vast clock, or dial, around the sun … 240 years: around five billion square miles of space; one NOW. The Kuiper Belt IS Pluto, collectively. In astrology, the planets are expressed as qualities through their orbital pulses: a few months for Mercury, 2 terrestrial years for Mars, 12 for Jupiter, and so on. The solar system is a Rose of petals of time, cyclic yet never repeating history … a little like Tom’s torch of time.
Here are more impressions now, of the seals and the south westerly coast of Wales. “The Star” is meditation. The Seals play in the deep.
From Journal, 4 October 2002: Rope, Coast and Ship
Hearth-fire: To have one little fire in the wilderness by myself, is only the triad of awakening; to join my smoke with the Elder ones is to warm with a greater fire, into which the Triad of the Spirit dips. And in this greater fiery circle in the wilderness, with wise ones seated around it, prayer and small intentions for humanity are taken and they work, they join, they go beyond me. It’s funny how there is this passion and yet the great difficulty to be present at the greater fire: the tedium and the wrestling. Most of the time during the day, my thoughts are not prayerful at all, but nasty, fearful depressions about so and so’s weapons, and the blaring bulldogs here. Such imaginations only contribute to the newsprint of fear.
But … the Companions give me rope. They give me space to explore my coastal path, the creative process and the I-mystery through Ramana. They let me do it thoroughly, and then come back to them with my way of unification. Does not this body of work belong to them? Will they not look after it, and see that it goes with the right tide?
The rope is something earned in another lifetime. There seems to have been so much labour in that other lifetime, to obtain this leisure and protection for the Spirit, that an anxiety – (am I making the most of the opportunity?) – continues to stress me.
I begin to hear the gentle advisors, who say “rest”. Do just what is given. Where my home is, is a tempering place, for all its crack crime and bulldogs, and survives history like the water the wave travels through. The mite belongs to the Greater. My work and creation is a fibre woven into Their Rope.
It is a seamanlike rope, like the one near Pwllderi, which hangs from a stanchion down the rock and into the bay a mile south of the Dinosaur headland. I went down it again, not to swim this time, but to enter a deep dark cave under the cliff, and take photographs. The rope is in my mind’s eye, thick rope with curly strands and fibres – holding it in my hand as I go down to the wet wild stones, and again when I come up.
In the same part of that coast, and nearer the Dinosaur, is the ‘secret cove’. It had seals and their babies in it, this time, so I didn’t go right down. I only climbed down into it, because my mother dropped her bag with the car keys in it, down the cliff. The slope is sheer, with tough couch grass, and the bag had come lightly to rest in thornbushes a hundred feet down or so. I took it, and then traversed across to the secret diagonal path I discovered last time, to sit a little nearer the seals and watch them.
Eleven years ago, I first entered it, climbing along the shaly sea’s edge. It is where the igneous rock of Strumble meets beds of sandstone strata: a petrified eruption.
The cove has titanic devic cliffs around it, and waters within of indigo, green and russet. It is an immaculate vortice, or oasis. I am profoundly nourished by this mystic place. It has rock formations of giant couples, children and owls.
Last week I ascended the diagonal path to the clifftop and looked for the spiral stones where I saw the snake last time, but they had gone, and it is overgrown with gorse.
In my inner sight, it dips suddenly and beautifully down into the pure sea – the well. The coastal contour flows around it. It has every level In it: a turning point in Truth – a landmark.
This time, the Companions gave me the seals to get close to. Last time I climbed upon some “organ pipes” which gave me a vision of rocklike infinity: a certainty of the Good.
How should I name this cove, so vivid in my interior, more so than the Tower, and as alchemical? It glows with the long shadows of sunset. In its depth are the violet stones from which they built St David’s Cathedral. I cannot name it. Keys from the vehicle were dropped into it and rescued. On the rocky beach below, seals lay vulnerably and suckled their young, and in the soft dark waves their bulls stood guard. I see above it the graded spiral of rocky stones, and the fluid snake.
I dip into my interior treasure, along the coastal path trod by sages and Kabbalah. It is part and parcel of that Great Path. It is my self-refreshment and discovery of the great Trust fund of Truth. It is a jewel threaded on the rope. It never forgets the rope which is the path. We were given feet and hands to tread sensually such paths. Krishnamurti said “Truth is a Pathless Land” – which means every path in it is truth. That was my revelation, glittering that day and in the night, on the organ pipes of igneous rock over the Dinosaur’s flank; and I have it again. The sea is in my face.
The coast is a place of power. What do they give me now, to see?
Return to ships’ crew – my central Mast between the fore and aft of the pillars, and my Scamp in the crows nest – Daat: the way he bothers me and my crew when we are all tired, with his horizons which we cannot see, and with his sooth saying ideas which we translate into uneasy psychological shadows, and his general chatter, and his inaccessibleness when it comes to trying to share his wisdoms through personal vulnerability.
Come down! Let’s see you! Leave your nest and shimmy down the mast with its sheets, ropes and stanchions, swing down the ladders, drop onto the roof amidships, and onto the deck of gleaming timbers. They seem golden, but are actually weathered grey and scrubbed by sea and salt. Lend a hand! Take a brush and some pitch, let’s see how you work with us.
The glory of the image …. crows nest, night-dark ravens and the black choughs with red beaks and legs, the glory of their command of the airs, ravens’ wing. The raven phase of alchemy, and also the silvery and druidic grey of my Kingdom of Daat: the music sings wherever I look. But that is Daat download chattering – Pluto in the Tree; and seals sing like owls. Come down, scallywag sailor with your see-it-all, and lend your hand to the wood.
Emotion is the deep living current of the green-violet sea. Feelings are the surface break of waves which are then subsumed. There is something very quiet and still and restful in the open breast of emotion, Kabbalistically. It is unendingly here in this moment, intensely Daat, focused and free of drama.
My meetings with seals were analogous to the meetings and overlappings of the Four Worlds, and of inner and outer planes. We poke our heads through membranes of the waters and look upon each other. We receive each other, unheaded.
The sense is of a circle turned. This last eleven years is a place of meeting. Last time I couldn’t see the seals, this time I could. It needs time and some hindsight, and the flow of the river away, to see what I am now seeing.
Old Men of the Sea
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.
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