Murmuration – The Wanderer and the Holy Vessel

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Scanner


Trust Providence and tie the leg of the camel!

Here’s another murmuration majesty: video link – starlings at Gretna Green – and here  is the starling flock video link I posted last week but without the narrator.  Skip the ad at the beginning … and look also at the starlings on Otmoor link on the same page.

I am in a Karmic shift. This post is rather cryptic.  I want to try to express something that I feel in the guiding principle and its picture language, universally.

To resolve my issues, I need to look beyond my impulse and conventional scar tissue, listen, find and celebrate what I call The Long Thought – those longwaves through life, which inform and complete things.   They take hours, weeks, years and often, centuries to deliver in full.  Anything I do contrary to these, if I get carried away, falls to pieces.   I feel physically weak.

Imagine: the whole alchemical Kabbalist consciousness, is a starling flock.  The individual bird is the ordinary ignorant person trying to act separately, according to social programming, conditioning and fear.   The Flock – the murmuration –  is the guiding principle or Supra-intelligence:  look how the Flocks glide through each other, creating swift and stunningly beautiful forms.


K2, photo by fosco maraini

K2, photo by fosco maraini

Consulting the wise old Rabbi Ching, I got the Mountain keeping still, changing to Fire inside the Mountain: Grace.  I am thinking as a Kabbalist again, from Tifareth.   Gevurah keeps still, sword in ground.   Hesed moves over the sky.   I want to act in alliance with and unseparate from the Beauty of the movement, which is apperceived in stillness.   It needs to be in concert with the flock murmuration – not a bird of prey apart and rebuffed.

Oh bother!   Hexagram wrong way round.  Grace is Fire under Mountain, I had Fire over Mountain … (never mind – still that piece of advice came through) –  it changed to The Wanderer, which I had before, recently, and is less auspicious.   “Strange lands and separations are the wanderer’s lot.”    However, it is helpful:  “Penalties and lawsuits should be a quickly passing matter – (fire does not linger but travels on to new fuel) – and must not be dragged out indefinitely.  Prisons ought to be places where people are lodged only temporarily, as guests are.  They must not become dwelling places.”

“The back is named, because in the back are all the nerves that mediate movement.  If the movement of these spinal nerves is brought to a standstill, the ego with its restlessness, disappears.  When a man has become calm, he may turn to the outside world.  He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them.  Whoever acts from these deep levels makes no mistakes.

“The heart thinks constantly.  This cannot be changed, but the movements of the heart – that is, a man’s thoughts – should restrict themselves to the immediate situation.  All thinking that goes beyond this, only makes the heart sore.” 

Richard Wilhelm


thunder mountain i ching

The Mountain hexagram has an inner brilliance because the Yang Light in both trigrams rests on the top.  Keeping his back still he no longer feels his body, he goes into the courtyard etc.   This means he doesn’t get waylaid by his inner-considerings.  The moving centre works.

There is a beauty in the Tao of this hexagram with its preceding one, the opposite:  Thunder, Arousing, Movement, with the Yang lines at the base of each trigram.  The Mountain is when this movement comes to an end, ready to receive its complementary, Then Yin ripens to her full extent and changes at the baseline, to Yang.  Grace is implied when the Fire is inside or under the Mountain … glowing through it.




I trudged home from my daughter’s little castle, as a pricked balloon of defeat, bewilderment, shame and misery that what I believed to be the right thing to do, ISN’T.   It was horrible, agonizing and now I had probably upset her again.   Is this the movement of the flock of Starlings, the Mountain, the Kabbalist?    It crushed me.  As time passed, I surrendered to the heart of the matter:  I am the one to say sorry – not be expecting him or anyone else to.  I am sorry I abandoned you the way I did.    I told her, and we had a long chat.  She thanked me for being a tiger, and I thanked her for being a lion.   This is Providence.

The way of the Kabbalist treads the tides of panic, receiving them in full so that clarity dispels them.   This image relates to the Violet Crystal – the waves on the shoreward sea.   Now I see them, and how it felt in my violet crystal room;  I was so lonely here.  Out there on the sea and beach, the world was playing.  I want to go out there and try to join in and do it too.


Solomon ibn Gabirol, 11th century

Solomon ibn Gabirol, 11th century


Today is our tutor’s 80th birthday – Go well!   Keep practicing!  Last night it happened to be my turn to host the three-weekly group meditation in my house – a party.  The meditation he led, was an unusual one, on Providence.

aziluth - world of emanation

aziluth – world of emanation

In the beginning which is now, No thing:  an infinite point of light appears, and emanates nine more lights.  The philosophical geometry of paths, triads, Worlds, expands and proliferates, as the Upper and Lower Faces of God interchange.  Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou – kadosh. All is made of thought:  Lord thou art All, thou art God: and earthing it manifests the mysterious All … in every locality.  It breathes in and out, across the stem of time.   The paradoxical feeling – who am I? – but I am – is a living dialogue, God beholding God, the tsim-tsum of Genesis.   The entire canvas so far, of cosmos, atoms, molluscs, dinosaurs, humans, climates and cities, is sketched.

My intellectual rapidity and its consequent faux pas and preoccupations, gets in the way of my devotion and receptivity.

beriah - world of creation

beriah – world of creation

There was a Tree of Life birthday cake for him, with blackberries, strawberries and 10 Sefiroth candles lit for him to blow out.  It made a little fiery vessel inside the Mountain.  It wandered into the small living-room on my careful hands, as a flock of souls moved around it, marvelled and settled.  It was childish, simple and beautiful – a tear – and very Capricorn.  Week after week, year after year, my tutor lights the candles, opens the Tree, comes down it again and blows them out.   Last night, he gave it one big Blow;  Everyone sang.

I am listening to Liszt’s Sacred-Office for piano plainsong – the Leslie Howard CD called “Meditation”.   It is tender, simple, chorale and serene.  It soothes my mind.


yetzirah - world of formation, psyche

yetzirah – world of formation, psyche

In my last post, I was revving myself up to deliver a letter, wasn’t I.  Well I didn’t.  My daughter in her wisdom and understanding rescued me from something rash.  It felt rotten, having the wind taken out of my sails in full Capricorn self righteous blast, believing myself assisted by divine starlings no less, and then disabled.   The Great Work’s peril is a moment’s personalised projection.

But I hold my head high now.  The letter was concise and to the point, about something I needed to express clearly, for a very long time.  She saw it and she made her point, and it will not be sent.  It is sufficient.



assiyah - physical world

assiyah – physical world

The trick is to know I am not Providence’s special hobby, nor is Providence my tip for the horses.  It gives me leeway, enough rope to feel a whole situation round my neck, and provides for us an “open” closure …    I go “out to lunch” in a fury, but come back for tea.   Calm down dear – it’s just a commercial!

Well I did come back for tea, and on I go, relieved and strong again.

The principle is Thy Will be Done – the visible law of the universe, like the starlings.   The  problem is when I try to “help” and think it is my duty to.  Why do we Capricorns always need to “set things straight” – get clarity, and examine certain truths?  Ha ha!  One starling in the flock thinks she knows where it is going:  she does – but she doesn’t.   A Kabbalist is aware of the Law of changes:  they do their own work.   There is a marvel and a mystery in the fluid concertedness of events and skies.   Fly! dance, twist and turn, flutter an uncluttered room, feet on rosewood floor.   Providence, like the air, flows through me.

The murmuration:  the mountain Keeping Still, the wanderer and – (when the fire is within) – the holy vessel.  Fire is within the keeping still.


Ibn Gabirol of Malaga

Ibn Gabirol of Malaga




I saw the movie The Life of Pi last week, and am reading the book again.  The author observes how Pi’s life and spirituality is filled with yeast.  The yeast of life is the prize of a scary, long voyage – from the bedrock.   We have the dark and the light, the ferment of the grape and grain.


Master R in 18thC London JA 08

Master R in 18thC London JA 08

Curieux scrutateur de la Nature entiere, 
j’ai connu du grand tout le principe et la fin. 
J’ai vu l’or en puissance au fond de sa riviere, 
j’ai saisi sa matiere et surpris son levain.

J’expliquai par quel art l’ame aux flancs d’une mere 
fait sa maison, l’emporte, et comment un pepin 
mis contre un grain de ble, sous l’humide poussiere; 
l’un plante, et l’autre cep, sont le pain et le vin.

Rien n’etait, Dieu voulant, rien devint quelque chose, 
j’en doutais, je cherchai sur quoi l’univers pose. 
Rien gardait l’equilibre et servait de soutien. 

Enfin, avec le poids de l’eloge et du blame 
je pesai l’Eternel;  il appella mon ame: 
je mourrai, j’adorai, je ne savais plus rien.

A sonnet by Comte de St-Germain/Master R

I would appreciate an English translation of this poem, from a French-speaking reader – any offers?  Very broadly my understanding of it goes:  “Studying nature, I learned her principle.  I saw in her river’s depth the gold, and seized its potency.  I understood how the soul in the mother’s womb rises like yeast, and carries the lodging onward;  and how a tiny grape seed and a grain of wheat when placed together in moist earth – the one a plant, the other a pip – ferment to bread and wine.  Without God’s will, nothing grows.  I searched in vain:  I found no ‘thing’ to equilibrate or uphold the Universe.   At last, on the scales of praise and its opposite, I weighed Eternity:  it called my Spirit.  I died. I adore.  I knew nothing more.”

4 pattern

Ah …  artist’s medium comes – an inspirational object for contemplation.   He appears, and draws me back into the flowing flock.  I had not thought of him for a while.  Why now?  Perhaps it was the word “yeast” in the Life of Pi.  A warmth of “home” comes over me, with his “altar, bird, torch”, and the mystery of fermenting grape and grain as grace in the soul’s soil.    The depth of my distress last week, may have summoned him.   Hawks – my mind’s dogged ploddings near the edge – are baffled.   Watch with the little birds, the swirling flock carefully, and note the stray predators.

Extracts from St-Germain’s “The Most Holy Trinosofia”:

altar bird torch master R 1

A yellow altar stood opposite me, from which a pure flame ascended having no other substance for its alimentation than the altar itself.  Letters in black were engraved at the base of the altar.  A lighted torch stood beside it, shining like the sun.  Hovering above it was a bird with black feet, silvery body, a red head, black wings and a golden neck.  It was in constant motion without however, using its wings.  It could only fly when in the midst of the flames.  In its beak was a green branch;  its name is ‘to be given Life’.  The name of the altar is ‘Kether – when shall be the gate of entrance’.

These are copies of Master R’s original work.  None of his luminous paintings – he ground pearl dust into his pigments – survived beyond his 18th century embodiment.   His music for violin and voice is stored in the British Library.

altar bird torch master R 2

Altar, bird and torch are the symbol of all things.  Nothing can be done without them.  They are all that is good and great  … You could have seized instantly the bird, the torch and the altar;  you would have become altar, bird and torch at one and the same time.  Now, to arrive at the most secret place of the Palace of sublime sciences, it will be necessary for you to pass through all by-ways.”

Master R : 08 - Version 2

Manly P Hall comments: “‘To be given life‘ and ‘when shall be the gate of entrance‘ mean  together, ‘Immortality shall be conferred at the gate of the House of Wisdom.‘  The name of the torch is Light; but translated, the characters read: ‘the dernier (coin) shall be hidden away and forgotten‘ … or ‘the body of the wise man shall be concealed‘.

“The altar is the human body; its material parts – the square – are arranged in the spiritual order – a triangle. … the whole figure is a symbol of spiritual regeneration, the mystery of Melchisedek … it sets forth perpetual re-energization by the use of the Stone.  It tells of the very power, which St-Germain himself possessed, of continuing from century to century by means of the subtle Elixir, whose secret was known only to himself and his Masters …”


The branch is masonic acacia, which was laid on Hiram’s grave.  Above the coiled kundalini up the torch, I painted the Hebrew Letter SHIN, the Mother Fire-letter, whose path is Hod Malkuth on the Tree of Life:   secret fire to our roots in earth.



I love the idea that the starlings do their concert on a winter evening, to warm themselves for the night.  The warmth grows to a secret fire, and suddenly accelerates, coalesces to the Art of one vast organism performing the worship with great black swirls and giant wings.  It is one of nature’s orgasms. The avian organism – the individual’s little death – is the soul in touch … tantra … with its Self all over.  Let us gather together, draw together. Let us form a vessel for the dew of heaven.  Orchestral musicians suddenly are uplifted from their desks with the edgeless song.  The most difficult corners in Life, yet are this, and form the deepest chords.


Morning after:  here on Otove’s blog comes a timely and clear expression about when to tell truth or white lies, and sattva-guna.   Actually the word used there is Satya, truth, not sattva, purity – my mistake!   The sanskrit root syllable sat however, is “existence, being”.




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. 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

9 thoughts on “Murmuration – The Wanderer and the Holy Vessel

  1. Pingback: Murmuration – The Wanderer and the Holy Vessel

    • Hi, Otove. Yes, I have a teacher, it is life. This manifests the appropriate teachers on the physical and inner planes, according to my focus. Since 1988, I am a student in Kabbalahsociety. You can read Halevi’s work on the Tree of Life. I also followed the teachings of Ramana Maharshi; and Krishnamurti was very influential at an early stage.

  2. Grace flows downward from above. It is depicted as white in most diagrams. Passion/Kundalini flows upward from the earth. It is depicted as either red or black in most diagrams. Maybe this will solve some of the confusion.

    • Yes Mischa, quite so, and thank you. Other depictions of the above/below interpenetration are the chalice and blade, the magendovid, and so on.
      Additionally the Indian system of the three gunas or qualities, red is rajas, passion; black is tamas, inertia; white is pure satva, their equilibrium.
      But what confusion? I don’t see any!

  3. The analogies to the murmurations are super . You mirrored a similar dilemma in my life and provided a clear understanding of what happens when one may decide to take action . Beautifully presented 1

    • Thank you so much, Bridget! (My comments thing is now working again.) These are situations whose essence we all have in common, and we feel obliged by pressures to resolve them … and the resolution is outnumbered by the other birds as suddenly the flock swirl-swoops into a fish, and I see wider … but so much in life is a gesture towards, and then the completion achieves itself without “my” further help. I try to keep open and fluid and sometimes it is scary! Whoopee, surrender. To go on sensing and dancing with the invisible wing of the bird-cloud – life is an unconditional beauty – the “yeast” – even with all the stresses.

  4. Pingback: A Mystery of Master R – the Yeast and the Grape | Aquariel

  5. Pingback: Approaching Death is Life | Aquariel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.