The Golden Tripod of Basil Valentine – Reflection

Dragon of Hermes Trismegistus


Alchemy is child’s play, God’s game in the garden.  The human physical and existential organism is wondrously subtle and infinitely textured, more to be breathed, yearned and died with, than to be figured out.  It always drew the shy and enquiring alchemical minds to the mystery, like bees to the flower.

Here are some playtimes and discoveries around Basil Valentine’s “Golden Tripod” in the Hermetic Museum 17th century.  They dropped into my delighted journal for poem-making, a number of years ago, and asked for a little revision now.

playing by the sea

1955 playing by the sea


Alchemical Journal, 26 February 2002

The definition Paul Foster Case gives for the “Incombustible Oil” of alchemy is: “It cannot be found in the animal kingdom because there its nature is too completely veiled. It is incombustible because no fire can burn the essence of fire. It is mineral because it is the essential substance for whatever is mined.”

The incombustible oil is the living fire itself, the pure First Matter. It is only when the lower mercurial imp gets hold of it that it thickens and dies. If a Narcissus beholding the pure spring – spirit, soul and salt balm – weds it to himself and becomes ‘so proud he hardly knew himself’,  un-firing oils of pride and small purpose are bred – a cold bed.

We should sing and eat the First Matter and digest it and let it pass through our gut – it is not enough to merely read or think it. Sound vibrates into wave patterns. Thoughts are things. Spiral, whorl, desert storms and water pass through sand; ripples coalesce, grains are atoms, sand dunes travel like stars. You can tap the sand on a membrane or whisper to it, forming patterns:  the Glory of the World?


1955, girl with lighthouse

1955, girl with lighthouse


Alchemical apperception is a terrific amount of beauty to hold. When tired or too high or tense or worried or complaining, the third eye doesn’t operate. It needs nourishment and daily practice. The amount of beauty in Aleph breaks and shatters a conventional organism;  the whole cellular body must change, to confect it.

Blood carries the substance which spirals through our bodies – the distilled moisture of the moon to marry to the light of the sun.

The One Thing, heart’s desire, spirals towards us by gravitation – a mental power (condenser). Self AWARENESS directs gravitation. Without this, firmly planted, every effort or prayer is flimsy. Key One in the nuptial chamber ‘flows’ through the Tower of alchemy as gold and steel. With consciousness, an adept commands gravitation.

bota key 1 Magician


1955 with Daniel at Breck

Recall childhood: Daniel the donkey in the Yorkshire moors, the smell of the sack tied round him in winter; and the Doctors beach near Hartland in North Devon: hot sun, great  rocks like up-ended books, sea-channels, the taste of joy, hunger and thirst, a piece of cheese for lunch, a scorching sunburn all day long between my shoulder blades. Recall some of the flavours in your own …

The desire nature is situated at the well of the throat; the core of human sexual desire is  here, as well as hunger or longing. Within the belly it manifests. To change the copper into white, raise it to the moon centre behind the root of the nose and by creative imagination (key Three, Empress) to the level of clear recollection (key Two, Priestess).

bota key 2 Priestess


bota key 3 Empress


Our gold is the same as our Stone – the stars of our inner heart, invisible to the eye’s external seizure.

Its female principle is the subconscious power to be fertilised and to multiply.


drawing 30.1.16


In the East it is said that without his shakti, Siva the Purusha cannot move or manifest. The King is stillness. His Queen is the centrifugal life-giving force of that stillness. The King is silence. His Queen is the sound-wave. The King is water. His Queen is the ripple of a breeze, a wave or tempest.

The spirit, the soul and the astral correspond to the three lower Worlds, whose holy place of meeting is Malkuth of Beriah, Tifareth of Yetzirah and Kether of Assiyah. Here the anointing takes place.

Reflect on thought forms, ways of thinking, of feeling and relationship: responsibility with the sharp edges. Be clear.

9 ramana embryo


In Svetasvatura Upanishad it says: Even as fire is not seen in wood and yet by power it comes to light as fire, so Brahman in the universe and in the soul is revealed by the power of OM – primordial sound. The soul is the wood below that can burn and be fire, and OM is the whirling friction-rod above. Prayer is the power that makes OM turn around, and then the mystery of God comes to light.

God is found in the soul when sought with truth and self sacrifice, as fire is found in wood, water in hidden springs, cream in milk, and oil in the olive.

There is a Spirit who is hidden in all things, as cream is hidden in milk, and who is the source of self knowledge and self sacrifice.



And now my digest of the story in Basil Valentine’s “Golden Tripod”.  I put the Mage’s words into free verse.  The story begins:

“Take a quantity of the best and finest gold – the best of your inner treasure – and separate it into its component parts (Four Worlds of the tree of Life), by love of the Art. Do it the way an anatomist dissects the human body. Very carefully, change your gold back into the currency before it became the world’s gold: go upstream.

“You shall find the seed – beginning, middle and end – from which our gold and its female principle are derived. You shall discover the pure and subtle spirit, the spotless soul and the astral salt and balsam.  When these three are united, we may call them the mercurial liquid: Hermetic mind.


BOTA key 20 Judgment detail LVX


“This water was examined by Mercury, found by him in his excitement to be pure and spotless, and espoused by him as his wife. Of the two was born an incombustible oil; Mercury became so proud he hardly knew himself. He put forth eagle feathers, devoured the slippery tail of the Dragon (South node) and challenged Mars to battle.

“Captured by harsh planetary aspects, our Mercury was jailed by Vulcan, smith of the metals, until a woman should liberate him. All the planets led by Saturn, agreed he was a scoundrel and must be destroyed and burnt. Vulcan performed the execution. But the beautiful Moon appeared in the sky, all attired in silver and waters, and pleaded heartbreakingly for her husband the Sun – the secret Fire – trapped in Vulcan’s prison through conjunction with crafty Mercury. He, the fire in the oil, could not glow or burn. Their child could not warm the heart and grow. Lady Moon, like our Mother Isis, pleaded for her dismembered Osiris.

“Venus too arrived, in her most beautiful dress, and wheedled with Vulcan in the Chaldean tongue – language of astrologers – “A woman will liberate the prisoner from planetary deadlock, sweeten the aspects so they yield!” – But Vulcan (her husband in the Greek mythology) turned to her his deaf ear.

1957 Flora, after Botticelli

1957 Flora, after Botticelli


“Then the skies opened. Out poured a mighty beast; with many thousands of young. Like a tidal wave it drove Vulcan before it, swept him forth; and opening its great mouth swallowed also Venus its own fair mother. It roared: ‘I am born from her. Then she received into herself my seed and filled the Earth with it. My mother and my wife the same, her soul is devoted to mine, of one bond; so I must eat, replenish my own with her blood.’

1957, theseus slays minotaur

1957, theseus slays minotaur

The blood is the soul. The creature is born, weds and consumes the matrix, the One materia. Its voracious offspring followed it into ‘a certain chamber’, eating up all the incombustible oil also, digesting it with the greatest ease and propagating into every part of the world.


tintagel merlin


“The learned men and elders of the violet land all gathered, perplexed. Then a Great Mage came forth into their circle. Is he the higher Mercury, quicksilver of the wise? He wore the girdle of life – the serpent swallowing its tail – around his loins, snowy locks, silver beard and crown of elven jewels. His feet were bare, and his words penetrated to the depth of the human soul.

He summoned silence, then spoke:

Awake, and open your eyes to behold light
where before they beheld darkness.
Two stars God-given lead men to wisdom.
Gaze upon them steadily
and follow their lights to the secret of knowledge.

“The bird Phoenix from the sunny fiery South at high noon (midheaven)
plucks out the mighty beast’s heart from the East at dawn (ascendant).
Give the beast from the East wings
that it feel itself the same as the bird from the South.”


phoenix copy from Master R TRINOSOFIA


The tight right-angle aspect or planetary ‘square’ is eased by unifying the character of the protagonists. Like the Bird of Light, the animal nature must allow itself to be destroyed to be reborn. It must dissolve and meld with spirit at the point where they converge. The spirit needs the power to manifest that is in earth, the dreaming earth.


The Mage Continued …

The animal from the East must lose its lion’s skin and wings.
Then it must plunge in primordial salt tears of the vast ocean
and emerge thence in renovated beauty.

“Plunge your volatile mind, your demons and distractions
in a deep spring whose waters never fail.
Their Mother is hidden within the spring.

Let them become as she.
Let them be born of Three,
of spirit, soul and salt, thrice distilled and great.

Hungary is my native land …”


man in flower field


Silence falls

and an earlier fragment from my Poems of Eclipse …

… I was born

among poppies, spiked speedwell and wild grasses,
primeval plain of sky and thistle flowers
ere the zig zag Tisza river, led by a hungry donkey, flowed …

In hypnos, Princess Erzebet’s little goldfish lost
when the royal Danube spilled
was in the dreaming Tisza found,
where fishers whittled reed flutes in the sun for grandchildren
and – telling tales of war in which they fought,
sucked mightily at long stemmed pipes
with yellow tassels.


Karmic Themes

I saw a path through almond trees
along the violet crease of your eyelid,
to the land you say you could enter.

I saw in silvery light that gleams around the clouds
wild horses roam, breath taking, undulating
floating patchwork cloth of meadows
whose margin into faery fades.

At home my pebbles, pictures and old porcelain
mismatch the elven valour of Arpad:
my grey and shabby fields – old Angol travelling east –
in sunrise drown.

Like all that lives,
we are a metaphor.

The river current does not concern itself with local agonies
of wave systems estranged, which in fast flowing course
carrying Karmic seed, collide, and through each other pass
the rivers of rebirth in seminal flood; but only with awareness.

A curve of the current is seen,
pushing at and into the rocky bend
while carrying sky-light, leaf-mould, colours of stone
and silt along a bed of generations to the sea.

The waters here scour deep and fast
deep fish of life to see: my urgency awakes.
Children of gods, in metaphor long buried gold
emerge from the rock, they are bursting to be told.

Their wake is somewhere in the curacy
of long years of tales from no man’s lland
on rock ledges shelved and waiting in a dark room.
No man is an island. We fall deep.

We are ignored by the main stream of the dreaming world,
for the glory of pure gold,
in the rain on a sunlit street or rock
has no currency to be held.”


Then the Great Mage went on:

Hungary is my native land.
The sky and the stars are my habitation.
The earth is my spouse.
Though I must die and be buried,
yet Vulcan causes me to be born anew.
Therefore Hungary is my native land
and my mother encloses the whole world.”




Touching the riverbed … the smith Vulcan is a driver, he drives the sword through fire and water. Vulcan’s wife Aphrodite – Venus – encircles with her womb the sky and waters.

The Great Mage is the Sun, the spirit of fire and renewal, to find in ourselves. Fire lives in the twig as combustibility, and in the rock as gems and precious stones. Fire lives in the rock as coal and as amber from long buried trees. Fire is present, latent, sleeping and awake: the heart of the earth and mystery of our blood’s kindling, body warmth and auric radiance. Fire is the heart of a star in the rose, the buried Sun whose veins are twigs and trees, their fraction in the sky. Their cumulonimbus flints convecting one another, strike sparks, to flash and flow as lightning to kindle the earth.

The thunder is the voice of the secret fire. It pierces and breaks the heavens. The fire spills forth, seizes and is gathered into dark lumps of earth. And the earth must then with wings soar heavenward, until singed it falls and drowns.

Reduce the Red Sea by boiling. The earth reappearing is ‘all in all’, re-appareled in the meld and heart of every element. By this, the dragon is released and contained. It shall ‘ascend with wisdom from Earth to Heaven, then again descend to Earth, and unite together the powers of Above and Below. Let all ignorance and obscurity fly from you.’


merlin guide

When everyone there had started to understand, the Mage spoke some more:

“Let that which is above be below,
let that which is visible be invisible,
let that which is below become that which is above,
let the invisible become visible, and the impalpable, palpable.

“Here is the perfection of our Art
with no defect or diminution.

“That in which death, life, destruction and resurrection dwell
is a round sphere with which the goddess of fortune drives her chariot,
imparting wisdom’s gift to men of God.
Its name here on earth and for human understanding, is the All in All.

“Let him who would know All in All
give earth great wings and let it fly up through the air
to heaven’s region – BERIAH.
Then singe its wings with fierce heat – divine AZILUTH –
and make it fall into the Red Sea – YETZIRAH –
and there be drowned.

“Dry up the water with fire and air –
evaporate Yetzirah by Aziluth and Beriah –
till earth – ASSIYAH – reappears as All in All.

“If you cannot through this process find it,
look around you. Look on nature.
The All in All is gravity of all metals and minerals derived from salt and sulphur.
Their mutual attraction is born of mercury.


“More I may not say
since all is comprehended in the all.


“My brothers, you are blessed
if hearing the wise, you find this Stone,
its power to heal and regenerate leprous and imperfect bodies.

“It has kept the vital fire in me so long alight
that I weary of life and long to die
yet cannot

“for I am bound to render thanks unto God’s wisdom,
mercy and gracious Gift
now and ever more. Amen.”



And the old man vanished. And all who heard him went back to their homes and meditated on his words, day and night.

Saint Germain-Merlin


The Great Mage was Master Rakoczy, Saint-Germain. He appeared also in medieval Britain, through Merlin’s form.   In alchemy, the body through giving thanks and through repeated drenching in the fountain of life, becomes intangibly yet effectively cleansed and spiritualised. It acquires a form of renewal without having to die and start all over again. Old murks are cleared out at source, as the atomic lattice through Spirit is redefined.

It is a homeopathic process of gradual tincture. Slowly, steadily, the molecular web and cellular memory are modified through purification by the inner fire. Their composition is altered to support the higher frequencies, while maintaining the same general appearance. Robust physical health might not be inevitable, yet it is a by-product of this kind of work, particularly if not itself the main aim.

The Key to the golden Life is lightly touched in all matters.

21 Master Key

Master Key


27 February 2002

I dreamed this morning I was shown four jars containing coloured liquid. I cannot recall the first two from left to right; but the third one’s contents were radiant apple-green and the fourth one was reddish-brown and cloudy like pale old paint-water. This one was ‘humanity’. A voice came, at some point: “Darkness it hath, that is good, (but) darkness it is not.”

There are wonderful names which awaken me with bells. Beleriand, Belisarius, the Bells of Rachmaninov and of Liszt. There was a small grey dream-pony a few weeks ago called Bellarus: and in Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham, Bellomarius was the greatest of all the dragon slayers in the realm.


Youngsters in the Puszta by Hermann Reisz

My activity all this life is to clean the cupboard. I spent a long time looking for someone there. The Magyar puszta symbolises a clear and open horizon within, filled with sky. Like Narnia through the wardrobe, it has no hedge. A door opens to it at the end of Liszt’s “Christus” when Jesus rises from the tomb. There is a captive inside, who strives to come forth, rattling chains, moving stones. An opus of his soul lay unread on shelves, buried under sheaves of litany and litigation.

There is someone to see right through and beyond, to a common source. There is a tree filled with white blossom in my window.


the key 1987

the key 1987





24 Master R, St-Germain 7.7.15

Master R, St-Germain

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 2012-2016. 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

Arcanum Seven – Shabat Shalom Baruch





paul mandala 17.11.13. detail

This post waited in my Drafts for some considerable time!  I was kept busy with my book of the Tarot Arcana (from which this writing arose), and with finding out, and with living. Now I recall the place of rest: shabat shalom … and baruch, the blessing.

Our dear old friend Issy Benjamin “left the market place on Sunday evening 25 October, and has gone home. Heaven is home and earth is the marketplace. We are in constant passage between the two (African proverb).”  He was nearly ninety.

The Star, the Cross and the Crescent!  (See the vimeo above).  Develop in the inner and outer life the golden seed – each of the middle eastern prototypes holds my deep affiliation, life-effort and love.  As agonizing as the conflict at present is, so shall it one day flower and unite humankind.

star cross crescent


Script of altar, bird, torch in the Trinosofia, meaning 'the body of the wise man shall be concealed'

Script of altar, bird, torch in the Trinosofia, meaning ‘the body of the wise man shall be concealed’

Great love embraces the tall white hall of Issy’s shul, where I went for sabat shalom. Hidden behind an angle there was a skylight, and this reminded me of a dream I once had, in which were windows cut through the ceiling to Adonai – in the shapes of the Hebrew letters – through them you may talk to god without intervention or interference or screen of speech.  Why?  Because those apertures from above and below are cut through stone, the shape of the language and its covenant.  Nothing else but the Law, the cosmic Torah, can be spoken or heard through them.  And so it is with all languages through which God spoke – Arabic, Persian, Phoenician, Egyptian, Sanskrit – our origin.

Always go from where you are right now, because access to the sacred architecture is a given;  it is not seen all at once, it grows on you as soon as you surrender your nature to the joy of the gift.

When a soul literally sheds the physical embodiment, he or she is present in any time and space right now, to tune in with.

islamic patterns 1 :Keith Critchlow

Hexagram, from Keith Critchlow’s ‘Islamic Patterns’

When the centre is open, the six directions through my core are simultaneous.  Turning to face them, is something I should remember and not forget during the day. The KABOD, the glory of God has this private stealth, and may be rediscovered at any moment. The expression ‘The chosen people’ may derive from what we choose to meet each other with – the scroll we unroll and open to each other in the eager reading of the Book.  It derives from ‘choosing’ to connect with Issy and with other souls now beyond the box of naming, yet vital in their essence.  There is an intimacy of the emerald table – as above, so it grows below:  the currency ascends through the descent.

I feel and endure the descent, but later on like yeast it rises and leavens the loaf, spreading it far and wide.

Diagram, cube, weathercock

My solar atom is a weathercock – a cube of space;  the six directions N E W S and up and down;  the holy hexagon, the cube of Solomon, a metaphysical spatial reality.  As soon as I am aware of it, I know my purpose, and gently it flows into concentric raindrop circlings of humankind:  I know it and I become still.   I become still not with my intention which is a confused and muddy pool, but as soon as I am aware of the grace flowing in and out.  Then I am in my natural shul.

paul mandala 2015 - detail

I was picturing Issy there, in his usual seat, with his white shawl wrapped around him, and his sparkling joyous gravity.  I feel he was an architect in the medieval flowering of sacred geometry and alchemical science, when Jewish and Islamic sages worked together. When – like him – we are called back into the Scroll, we are all the names that were ever given us on earth – and so we have no particular one, we are nameless!

Issy B




When I ask where and what is God, and love of God, God happens when a tabernacle opens.  When Yeshua stood with his friends on the mountain, their tabernacles opened to each other, and they KNEW.  The place of rest is the crystal receiving-set through which the Greater Mystery pulses.  In the silence the sages come to life:  the holy mountain.


Arcanum 7 The Chariot

1 magus - Version 3

In the Tarot, Key Seven awakens this knowledge and response.  It fields and fences the Magician’s ‘house’ or BEIT with CHETH the enclosure.  It takes a while to tap the portal;  but this morning again it stood open – it flows through here.

The Seventh Arcanum rests within the sense of expansion.  It is a seven pointed star.  The Seventh Arcanum reminds me now that each Tarot Key is a holy transmission, a contemplative and living silence.  The enigmatic image releases a quantum of shabat shalom baruch:  a commitment.  The prayer does not repeat;  it is new born.

For Issy:  Go Well!


Seven Branch Star

How to make a seven point star – with the 51-degree angle in the Druid’s Cord





jacobs ladder

Jacobs Ladder – the Four Worlds, Aziluth (Divine), Beriah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formative and Psyche) and Assiyah (Material world)

Mysteries of Isis, part 8 – the Wholeness of Osiris

osiris isis

This  post continues the previous ones about Isis – to remind myself Who she is.  The next  post will conclude this series with Dion Fortune’s invocation of Isis as “the Sea Priestess”.

To label an aggressive militant virus loosely as “isis” is a misnomer, unconsciously perverting and undermining our human-ness and capacity to heal.  The women and girls are attacked, stoned, tortured or infected in that mindset, which mindlessly destroys ancient sacred places.

Our genetic vitality as men and women, stems from the archetypal wisdoms and mythologies of the ancient world.  Isis is – at our thoughtless peril – trampled, forgotten or abused. In the mirror of every culture, she  is what we truly are, the light and the shadow.  As the goddess of the Moon she rules the tides of our psychology;  as Gaia she is our Earth.

What can we do?

Recognise the daily corporate hypnosis under which we lie, under which we dream as slaves, accepting belief – and wake up.  It is better to see and be aware of the venom than to step right into it.  The problem is not in other lands, politics or ideologies – it starts HERE, with what we care about.

Remember who we are.  Find and grow from our roots, and be an example to our children.  Let it spread.  No frozen society out there can do it.  I and you are in HERE – the open reality we create.  Individual awakenings send ripples far and wide, and change things.

Here is another chapter from my “Arcanum Two” (1991, 2011):


The sea near Tintagel

The sea near Tintagel


September 1991 – The Wholeness of Osiris: Precession of the Equinox:
What are the scattered pieces, the fragments of Osiris?   Typhon, the god of titanic entropy or disorder, slew and scattered fourteen parts of Osiris the Law-giver up and down the black land.   Isis wept over, gathered and conceived from them the child HORUS, of herself and her womb-brother Osiris.

Plutarch – an initiate – tells of Horus’s battle with Typhon to avenge his father:
“We are … told that among the great numbers who were continually deserting from Typho’s party was his concubine Thueris.   A serpent pursuing her as she was coming over to Horus, was slain by her soldiers.        The memory of this action, they say, is still preserved in the cord which is thrown into the midst of their assemblies and then chopped into pieces.

Afterwards it came to a battle between them which lasted many days.   But victory at length inclined to Horus, Typhon himself being taken prisoner.   Isis however, to whose custody Typhon was committed, was so far from putting him to death that she even loosed his bonds and set him free.   This action of his mother so extremely incensed Horus that he laid hands upon her and pulled off the ensign of royalty which she wore on her head.   Thoth(Hermes/mercurial) clapped onto Isis instead a helmet made in the shape of an ox’s head.

“After this, Typhon publicly accused Horus of bastardy.   But with the help of Thoth the legitimacy of Horus was fully established by the judgement of the gods themselves.   After this there were two other battles fought between them, in both of which Typhon had the worst.   Furthermore, Isis is said to have kept company with Osiris after his death, and in consequence to have brought forth Harpocrates, who came into the world before his time and lame in his lower limbs.”

Apollo 2002


In Plutarch’s account Horus was conceived before the fragmentation; he was conceived indeed in the mutual affection of Osiris and Isis as siblings in the womb of their mother before they were born.   And Horus became known to the Greeks as Apollo, the god or radiance of the Sun’s (physical) chariot.

What are those scattered fragments of Osiris?

When they are put back together he is brought to life.

Note this: he is brought to life, a life beyond the concept of beginning or ending with the fragments. Instantly it springs to being, and has always been.   It crosses the plane of fragmentary knowledge.

The fragments are perhaps the multiple and illusory costumes, lifetimes, of the body. The fragments are what remains of the Alexandrian Library – the wisdom of the ancient world. They arise among the disappearance of Self-knowledge into ignorance, into the pockets of spacetime called maya, or matter or “separate” incarnations.


arcanum 9, hermit

The initiate, entering the cave of “sleep” emerges as a bird from a tiny opening deep in the heart lotus. The pocket of space and time falls away. The chamber of all the worlds – the whole of the Great Pyramid – is open to his flight of seeing.   He awakens from the trap of time.

The wholeness of OSIRIS is a dimension of which the visible shapes of his body or any of his parts are only sections in time and space across it, apparently disparate.

Apollo 2002 - 2

The reality of OSIRIS is a Great Circle; like a “lunar” or “solar” orbit of human cycles of life on earth towards Reintegration.   It abides beyond and within the visible spheres.   The visible bodies in the night are only allegories.   Osiris and Isis are a Mystery Play of reflected light whose phases, on the Moon, seek unity.   I wonder if this relates to the Great Circle (25,800 years) or precession of the equinox around the ages of history … his story?

The combined action of solar and lunar gravity causes the polar axis of earth to ‘wobble’ or describe a slow dance around itself.   This exposes the terrestrial magnetic field to subtle changes in alignment with the constellations.   The turning of a mystic dervish expresses this.

The rhythmic cycles of our local perception or Universe, the times for plants to grow and for human beings to awaken dormant strata to the light, seem to be governed by Osiris and his sister Isis from a plane transcending that of the zodiac (the planetary/psychological frame of reference.)   Neither of them represents solely the Sun (gold) or the Moon (silver).   Their mystery dance describes their cyclic relationship.   Osiris, known as the Sun of the Dead, appears as the Sun’s light upon phases (death and resurrection) of the Moon, particularly as it waxes.   But he derives from ‘RA’ or ‘PTAH’ of a primordial LIGHT.

The rhythmic breath of Osiris and Isis governs the solar System as a whole.   Perhaps they are analogous to the galaxy or, more locally, to the nodes of intersecting planetary orbits, the petals of the Great rose.   They dwell outside the measure of planetary time, while remaining inside cosmos, the Divine Circle inscribed by Thoth within atoms and stars.   The name of their son HORUS means ‘Time’ and also the eye of the eagle.   The higher the eagle flies the smaller appears the space-time context, and the larger is the view around it.

cross & pyramid

From the raised apex of the Pyramid which is its centre, an edifice can be viewed.   The plane of the base has four sides; at the point ‘above’, where they meet, they are simultaneous.   This raised point is simultaneously the length, breadth and depth of the world around.   It is the stance of rectitude, of truth. The fourth dimension cancels opinion and division, because as there is no separation between things, there are no ‘things’ themselves.

Eye of Ra

The Eye of RA, the primordial SUN, is this hieroglyph for the eagle HORUS, the Oudja“The Right Eye of the Supreme Being is the Sun, and his Left Eye is the Moon.”

In the old stories the left eye of Horus, wounded by Typnon/Seth is repaired by Thoth.   Thoth, Master of writing, of sciences and of time, has again and again to separate the two combatents, gather together the fragments of the hurt Eye and heal them into a unity greater than the sum of their parts.

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes states:
“Thou shalt separate earth from fire, the subtle from the gross,
with prudence, understanding and modesty.
The Great Action rises up from the earth to the heavens
and returns again to the earth,
taking into itself the power of the Above and the Below.
Thus you will obtain the glory of the Whole world.

In the organism of the whole, the left eye has all the adventures for it receives, it is YIN; and the right eye performs the synthesis for it gives, it is YANG.   Healers know intuitively that the ‘energy’ which cures fractions of the body and soul in mass, utilizes a ‘higher power’ of light beyond the small area of their differences.   Isis and Osiris are a profound and esoteric resonance of the solar and lunar pulse in nature; their mutually embracing TAO.

Creation etc


The Great Circle and the Egg
In working with ISIS, the priestess of the Second arcanum, I feel like a ‘broken’ circle, which desires completion into a circuit.  Electrically the current propels this urge over a vaccuum to return to itself.   The divine Circle fell from the edgeless sphere into the elliptical distortion of a mental universe which oscillates between two poles.

This happens when the conjecturing mind pushes harder and harder at its own frontier.   It constructs hypotheses, wanting everything to “fit” and falls exhausted and dead into flat paper.   “So What?”   What is the good of writing symphonies about silence, if there is no silence here, if waves of irritation immediately arise when the telephone doesn’t work, when the water mains is turned off, when gadgets are all-important, when fatigue snaps?

The orbital rhythms of the planets are egg shaped.   Within them shines the perfect golden sphere of their birth, our yearning for them to be simply that.   They move around the Sun, carrying interior Suns.   Every feature of the visible universe is a dance of assymetry towards that unchanging ideal.   Within my door of perception, this moves and changes and becomes the creation of matter and time.   Re-cognition of ‘TWO’ catalyzes a movement towards ‘ONE’ which is ‘THREE’.   The flow of current, its friction into photons or ‘particle-waves’ of light, sets up the paradox of ‘movement’ with ‘not-movement’; a relativity.

Osiris and Thoth

In these explorations, I am driven by beauty. The aesthetic sense has its own limitations, because it wants to make things conform to it. The mind builds castles, and becomes over taxed. The truth, being beauty, has no expectation.   It is better to keep quiet, and to trust that truth is beauty, and needs no grandiose support or justification.   In the absence of these, I become still.

mid wales 4

When recognised, the testament to human beauty – a Bach cello suite, a Botticelli angel, the wind, the sea, the birds, the high pre-Cambrian moorland of mid Wales, and the colours of earth, water and autumn leaves – awakens again in its natural element.   With a scented rose in the garden, who needs to construct one in the firmament, out of sight?   And yet … those ones, those mansions in the subconscious, are special cultivations, seeds of wisdom. They bloom there undying … the garden for everyman to find.

Letter Gimel - wheatsheaf

Letter Gimel – wheatsheaf

small beit

The letters BEIT and GIMEL  echo but are not quite the same as the Firmament which is silence.

mid wales 2

*  *

Gimel – and Into the Street
Going out now, late evening, into the street for groceries, I find – though very tired – an intense awareness of the field of space between me and each other person I see along the crowded pavement outside Waitrose.   The world is differentiated.   My eyesight retreats to within my spine. between the wings, and shows to me each person, each object, with clarity and without comment.  Even the existence of my uppity ego has clarity, without comment.

If I hope to travel into being ‘Not Two’, it makes good sense to know what the condition of ‘Two’ really is.   How can this be done without becoming lovingly interested in it?   How much of life is spent bundling along and totally unaware even of duality and separate objects and the space between us?   Those separate beings, mobile screens of history and inner-life, are comets who trail their births behind them, the invisible tale growing endlessly longer. They register within me with a sensation now of … something like hard diamonds.   Each one is this hard and shiny rock of light… like being a jeweller.   Who cut the first diamond?

Who cast the first stone?

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at her,” said Jesus scribbling vaguely on the ground when the elders all crowded indignantly round the repentant prostitute and asked what to do.

When I am out in the street like this, words, poems, riddles, fragments of koans come, to be stopped and written down.   They are traces, incomplete, of little fish sliding away, they are mischievous mercurial promptings, of the mind that will not rest.   They are like the voice which delivers an enigma between waking and sleep. It sounds like a perfect capsule for unremembered truth.

I did much free-wheeling with these promptings, for years encouraging and writing them down. They lead to my oracle, the inner ruler.   But if I become too enamoured of them, they no longer guide but exhaust me – the froth and foam, but not the water of life itself.

Mental metal-fatigue is a painful exercise.   What poetic fancies about Osiris and Isis can reach me here?   They seem now to be only a way to pass the time, with a risk of redundancy. They seem to be effluents of arrogant cardinals in the church.   What of my limited aesthetic of circles beyond the circles in the invisible sky, right now, when the birds have flown?   What on earth do I know about it?   They were pictures only in my mind, and now I cannot read.   Creative artists are bored children.

I feel it is up to each of us as we individuate, to discover mythology and follow it upstream in a way which is unique and meaningful.  The paths on a mountain are of infinite variety and relationship;  they connect and lead towards the peak which dissolves them all.

It is natural to be tired, and to let Isis, the oceanic subconscious, sink back into the tide:  to breathe in and out;  to sleep and wake.


quantock trees

quantock trees

At home I read in a little book by Sundaresa Iyer:
“I am the Present ever present, so I am not newly discovered or obtained.   Only I have no delusion about myself.   I am unborn so death cannot affect me.   For me death does not mean the loss of a body, whether gross, subtle or causal.   To me death means only identifying the Self with the non-self.   This is intoxication, and this intoxication is Death.   So has Sri Ramana Maharshi taught.

“ … caught and drew his normal consciousness deeper and deeper inward into that in which nothing but Itself is seen or heard or known, in which there is not the shining of the sun, the moon or the stars, but which is all these and fullness Itself.

“Abidance in the Void is firmness.”

Ramana - my earliest complete sketch of him

Ramana – my earliest complete sketch of him


The Mother of God
I have one more small point to investigate in the interest of these Horns of Isis. My diversions into malleable symbolic history are as satisfying as writing poetry.   As follows:

Hermes Trismegistus in Virgin of the World declares that:   “Over the earth and sea he reigns who nourishes all mortal creatures, the plants and fruitbearing trees and whose name is Zeus Serapis.”   This is Jupiter. This deity symbolises expansion and grace. In the psychological Tree of Life, Hesed is represented by Jupiter.

Tao Tree of Life 17 3 93


I want to look briefly into the idea of the Apis bull, for I read in a scholarly book by the keeper of Egyptian antiquities at the British Museum, that the name “Serapis” is derived from Osiris-Apis.   Apis is a symbol of power and fertility, associated with the god PTAH. PTAH is the expression of primaeval creative power in the cycle of Osiris. Serapis was a Ptolomeic deity who acted as a bridge from Egyptian mystery to Greek philosophy.   He was a benign bearded and Jovian character, with a great interest in death and funerary ceremonial.

the mrs bs, bull & snake

The qualities of primaeval power and fertility were manifest in a bull calf born with special markings in Memphis.   He was kept in the Temple, venerated throughout his life as the apis bull and finally buried with royal pomp and splendour.   From the earth he came, took into himself the divinity of sky and was ploughed with it, back into earth. (“The Great Action rises up from the earth to the heavens and returns again to the earth, taking into itself the power of the Above and the Below”) The pharoahs would bow to this bull as a Great King – the archetype of their virile grace and favour.   “He nourishes all mortal creatures, the plants and fruit-bearing trees.”   He has the forces of growth.

The holy bull must be born of a mother, the sacred cow or Mother of Apis.   She was identified with Isis, as “Hathor”.  The burials in due season of these bulls of God with big throats and long pointed horns, and of their mothers, are very festive occasions.   When the full moon sets below the western horizon, the sun is rising in glory in the east.   And after the sun himself has set, the full moon is rising high and looking for her lord.

Two horns on the head of Isis are creation’s curve, the binary of two poles which carry the current.

taurus glyph copy

To Conclude:
In astrology, the moon is exalted – meaning that its power to respond is at its most benevolent and enduring – when it is travelling through the sign of “fixed earth” – TAURUS the Bull.

Tarot’s Hierophant – the High Priest, Arcanum 5 – is assigned to TAURUS, and the 6th letter, the VAV, meaning “hook” or “that which joins”.   Taurus governs the throat and ears – the faulty of inner hearing or intuition.


Like a happy assonance for a poem, is the blend of Arcanum 2’s High Priestess, whose symbol is the Moon, with the power and fertility of the bull.   When the sun is in Taurus, leaves have burst their buds, the baby birds are hatched and hungry, and spring is in full flower.   Those born with the moon in Taurus often have intuitive “green fingers”.   There is a consistency in their sense of touch with “the plants and fruitbearing trees” in the garden by day or the tao by night.   They love nature and are strong and imaginative workers in their field.   They have the power of concentration.


concentric sefiroth with seal of solomon



So it is by way of thanksgiving to this exploration and enquiry with Isis, that I discover her to be beautifully earthed, and let her rest.   The Taurean glyph – the circle surmounted by a crescent — gives this work its cadence.


bull bird copy





30 I Ching Earth-receptive 2 & Gimel

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

Why does Isis have Horns?


Arcanum 2 priestess

Part 7 in the ‘Mysteries of Isis’ –
Some early writings on Isis, from my “Arcanum Two”: 

25 September 1991 – The symbol for Taurus the Bull, ruled by Venus, is a circle crowned with a crescent – a pair of horns.  Why the horns? To explore this question is fruitful.

How does it feel?   The horns have sharp points.   They are a heavy head-dress. They give majesty to the Full Moon, and define the New Moon.   They are a garment of authority and they inspire fear. The horns of the Bull are antennae of the earth’s fecundity and riches.   To encounter suddenly in my life a blindfold soothsayer or white witch, crowned with archaic and savage horns and sitting so still, is startling.

taurus glyph

The horns are there to drive away or impale unwary or merely inquisitive trespassers into her subtle magnetic field. They make a repellant aura around her: a defense system.  The priestess is in myself.   What am I guarding?   What am I protecting?   Whom do I attack?

To look inward, into the well of God within atoms, is to create a surrounding “field” of space which reinterprets my material body.   As “I” collapse inward – like into a black hole – this field extends outward in all directions from the singularity.   It is the veil of the inner sanctuary.   In all the old legends the dragon or serpent is coiled around the golden fleece.   The hero must, in stepping over or neutralising the dragon, confront the storms around his own Cape Horn, and master the creative daemons that arise from his “unconscious” seeking consciousness.   His chaos must transmute to kosmos — the Greek word for harmony.   Only then, when the tumult dawns transformed in his being, might he behold the light of the golden fleece, by the gentle light of Isis – her moonbeam.

solis luna conjunctio

The hero in all these tales is the alchemist, and the adventure is trans-formation.   Tentatively I suggest that the lady Isis in her pure state, together with Thrice Great Hermes who flows and makes speech with metals, is the catalyst of this transformative process.   But I speak now personally …. I suppose I speak from many lifetimes.   They are all only this one.  For instance:  I sit down each day here to write, and I do not know what it will be, and the content may flow or not as the case may be, but I am almost invariably astonished.

pentacle 3,7,12 the mother letters


In the classic The Golden Ass, Lucius Apuleius gives an allegorical account of his initiation.   Transformed into a donkey he had to suffer and witness the depth of human iniquity, and be beaten and abused by his inner discordancy, before the lady Isis rising from the midnight sea offered him the key to his release into human form   … he must eat the rose carried by the Great Hierophant during the procession the following day, of her Mysteries. In the vision of Apuleius, as she rose from the dark sea to instruct his still asinine form:

Her long thick hair fell in tapering ringlets on her lovely neck and was crowned with an intricate chaplet in which was woven every kind of flower.   Just above her brow shone a round disk, like a mirror or like the bright face of the moon, which told me who she was.   Vipers rising from the lefthand and righthand partings of her hair supported this disk, with ears of corn bristling beside them.   Her many coloured robe was of finest linen; part was glistening white, part crocus-yellow, part glowing red, and along the entire hem a woven bordure of flowers and fruit clung and swayed to the breeze.

“But what caught and held my eye more than anything else was the deep black lustre of her mantle.   She wore it slung across her body from the right hip to the left shoulden where it was caught in a knot resembling the boss of a shield;   but part of it hung in innumerable folds, the tasselled fringe quivered.   It was embroidered with glittering stars on the hem and everywhere else, and in the middle beamed a full and fiery Moon.”

Apuleius The Golden Ass

Her mantle of night is that of the visible universe, the stars and the spaces between.   The snakes that support her disk, besides echoing the pair of horns, suggest the caduceus of Hermes:


Two serpents, the positive and negative polarity, entwine a staff of authority or directed power, and are held in equilibrium.   The equilibrium forms the circle of her disk.

The ears of corn in Apuleius’s description, remind me of Ceres.   Ceres is the ripe standing wheat of the earth, and the mother of Persephone who married the dark Underworld.   “Hades”, king of the Underworld, is derived from the Greek eidein, to see.

“The centre, the depths of this sphere (of the universe) is named Hades the invisible, because the centre of a sphere cannot be seen from without.   It appears visible only by means of those special forms whose images appear graven upon it, it shows itself only in effigy;   but in reality it is always invisible in itself.”

Trismegistus, The Virgin of the World

bull bird


Ears of corn, or wheat, are the vessels of that sprouting grain of the inner world.   They are the visible allegory which is “graven upon its surface”.  I, dreaming twice in the last few nights about taking earplugs out, am perhaps being advised to hear; to be here, listen and hear.   For this is the way the priestess receives information … silently into the oracle or shell of her ears.   The oracle, coracle, is a celtic craft on the waters. The waters dance and play with reflections from the sky in crescents of light like fallen leaves or “boats of mine a-floating … Where will all come home?”[1]

She has her eyes closed because the instruction is to be still and hear, to be not taken in by the deception, the flickering screem of sensory sight.   To hear the unruffled depth of the settling water is to be the quietness of the water itself.

I drew the ears of earth (that is Ceres) with wheat growing in them, like little masts in a walnutshell boat.

Ceres & John 1987


Burial and Hermetic Initiation – the Grain Sprouts
To be the awareness of the ears is to extend and receive the lateral sense of consciousness; the Capitols of the two pillars.   I am what rests between them, that which is, as it is.

From that alone comes forth what is relevant to the time.  Silence must receive its own information, before delivering it. Thus is truth.  Open the ears, the arms, of my Soul.  These horns are the ears or antennae of some creature of the deep.

The horns of Isis are the sense organ through which she receives the waves.   This is her focus of divination.   Between the horns is held, or hung, the equilibrated breath of her magnetic field.

tarot priestess 2003

*  *

In the Masons’ craft, there is a ceremony of passing, from being an entered apprentice to receiving the degree of fellowcraft.   This represents work on the soul, or ability to listen, in the Middle Chamber.   The candidate must bear in time and maturity the fruit of his own work.   So upon acceptance he is given an ear of corn.

In this gesture there is a profound mystery, which lies in the ancient body of Egypt.   Isis is the dark earth or body receiving the golden grain of Osiris in the flood of the Nile river which spreads it to all parts of the black land.[2]. . When the waters ebb the grain sprouts.   This is the Child who is also the Father.   The land of upper, middle and lower Egypt was, in ancient times the head, thorax and abdomen of the subtle body.   These are parts of the embodied fragment of God which lay beneath heaven.

Like the lower arm of the letter BEIT, this fragment – like all the “fragments of hermetica” that survived the destroyed Alexandrian library – echoes but is not quite the same as the Firmament.   But from within the fragment (the rock, the tomb of forgotten awareness) can be resurrected the light of Osiris.  I am reminded of Thomas Browne again: We are somewhat more than ourselves in Sleep, and the Slumber of the Body seems to be but the Waking of the Soul.

Alchemist in Notre Dame - after Fulcanelli


It seems that in most cases the slumber or apparent death of the body, (death of the world-orientation) was a pre-requisite to resurrecting the consciousness – the Spirit – outside and encircling the spacetime continuum.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead was written to guide those who, plunged by subtle arts into profound physical sleep, awoke to behold the Holy One.   The weighing of the Soul and all that followed, was not the sole prerogative of those who had reached the end of their earthly span.   Some who passed through the gates or pillars of “death”, returned re-born in the light of the Sun to bear witness (and keep the secret).   This idea was explored in some of Paul Brunton’s meditations in his Search in Secret Egypt.

The Sacred Books of Hermes are a collection of fragments and discourses written down in Alexandria just before or after the time of Christ.   In them seems to be reflected the essential wisdom of Thoth. Thoth is the ancient secretary to the gods. He has the head of an Ibis bird, and carries his pad and pencil.   The hieroglyph for AKH – Light, or the scribing of a light that pre-exists Creation – is in the form of an Ibis.   The crest and plumage of this bird is dark green and shot through with glittering metallic specks of light.   The root of AKH is Spirit, to shine, to irradiate.   The curve of the Ibis’s neck is like the uraeus or cobra, worn by Pharaoh as his “third eye” or pineal body*.  And it is not altogether unlike the neck of a swan.

swan beis


The letter BEIT is a “neck” or channel of the current of speech.   Yes!   Speech is Hermes.   The neck through which the silvery river flows, is the lady Isis.   Isis and Hermes together are Thoth, the month of the harvest, the art of the priesthood. Isis’ womb-brother Osiris is then Self knowledge within the art, for he is the Sun.

Emerald table

The precious stone assigned to Hermes is emerald.   The Bible of spiritual alchemy “As above so below” was traditionally inscribed by him on the legendary Emerald Tablet which – says Eliphas Levi – contains all of Magic in a single page.  It was found by Alexander the Great in the depths of the Great Pyramid where priests in ancient times had concealed the tomb of Hermes.   In the time of the Romans the emperor Severus buried the Mysteries in Alexander’s tomb, and Diocletian destroyed all the books on alchemy.   Christianity dawned upon a devastated battlefield of esoteric knowledge, a burnt-out wound of the world, a Way swept clear.

*In this light, consider the ideas of modern physicists: “Light – the range of electro magnetic frequencies – precedes the the manifestation of luminous bodies. Radiant energy is held to be the basis of all things within the range of human perception.” (P.Foster Case).   The symbols and colours which picture the ancient-world mysteries are tools equivalent to the equations used in our day.

These inscriptions, burials and tombs are direct reference to language, its events and its veils. The esoteric language had to be veiled from temporal powers who would exploit or destroy it: yet perennially accessible to ‘those who knew’.

I feel the Hermetic cosmology – which has been handed down as an oral tradition, like the Kabbalah – has a Vedic antiquity.   There were originally four Sacred Books of Hermes.   These were subdivided into forty-two volumes, the same number as those of the Vedas which were carried from India into Egypt by the Yadava emigration (cf. Mrs Child: The Progress of Religious Ideas, 19th century). There are innumerable stories and conjectural confluences of this kind, behind the shadows we see on the wall.


priestess 88


But, more importantly, the Egyptian doctrine of initiation, that the Eye of God opens in the most profound “sleep” of the organic and astral body, corresponds to advaita or “Not Two” of the elder East and of Gautama. Ramana Maharshi said the SELF of God awakens in the Fourth state of consciousness – that of deepest physical “sleep” … and is always awake. The other three states of consciousness are: the physical world, dreaming, and normal sleep.   All three conform to the conditioned self-world view, a horizontal play on surfaces.   Awareness in the Fourth state alone is unchanging and infinite.

Awareness in the Fourth state intersects the worldview everywhere at each point vertically.   The worldviews of the three other states are sections across it, and thus illusory.   Our worldview has the measure (or maya) of rings of time across a living tree.   The presence of the Tree itself, its root, its many branches, the birds in the foliage, and seasonal colours and sound of the wind, is invisible to the cut surface spectrum.   To appreciate that a whole Tree exists NOW, above and below the surface, requires a radical leap in the inner life which till then was occupied with one ring after another of historical time.



In both Western and Eastern traditions, pentacles and yantras combine the flat, diagrammatic plane of sacred geometry, with the vital dimension of which it is a talisman.   The solar system itself, apparently a disk of planetary orbits of time around the Sun, is a section across a living organism like a whole egg, or the petals of a rose without an outline … So it is also with the structure of the atom. Electrons around the nucleus are not things, or even points, but waves ensphering it.  Sages know this intuitively, which is why they say “All is well”; for they are That.   The human worldview, like music in the grooves of a flat disk, perceives what begins and ends, and must take the sage’s view on trust until the limited perception “dies”.

Nature is full of allegory:   the section across the tree: concentric ripples of sound, or over water: the vessel which rises from the potters’ wheel: the spiral of seasons and orbits.   The clean section across a tree is itself artificial, conforming to human tools. The faculty is specialised, and yet it still obeys the ripple form.

Awareness in the Fourth State alone unchanges. The disciple of life has no access to it through the normal senses, and so in its presence, he sleeps, he “dies”, it is night to him.

fool fence

In the ancient world, the physical catalepsy, through which the divine bird flew free of the mortal frame, is a conditional form of enlightenment.   Advaita teachings call it “nirvikalpa samadhi”: the bird flies free but then returns to ignorance.   The Sun is hid again in the night, and becomes a memory.   In unconditioned illumination, no catalepsy of the body is necessary.   The sage moves easily as air with his environment.   He or she is the SUN. In all their atoms, they are and know the source, as simply as the stars.

The idea is not the temporal histories and how they might all be filed together on the disk, but what the currencies of mysticism all have in common, free from time; for it is obvious that many rivers within one River flow … from the pregnant void of Source, to the ocean which is itSelf.   Here again, the human view is specialised, seeking in attainment, peace.

The inner Light has no past or future.   Maybe it is a musical chord of kalpas, ever present.


Bull near the Sea

July 2011

The foregoing was an exploration, turning up from the subconscious field, spontaneous references to ears, hearing and speech.   The title, Why Does Isis Have Horns? delivered to me, the Taurus symbol … in which the Moon (High Priestess) is exalted.   This means, that when the Moon is going through Taurus, the tidal fertile function is supreme, in nature and humanity.

The Moon’s actual ruling sign is Cancer – the sensitive shoreline, the rhythm of the tides, the breath and endochrine system.   When the Moon is in the Earth-sign Taurus, the tide deposits the fruits of earth on fertile ground.

Taurus’s planetary ruler is Venus – attraction, affinity, passion, the laws of gravity.   With reference to hearing and speech, Taurus is assigned to the faculty of hearing, and to the throat – which I was not aware of, at the time of writing.

So sea birds follow the plough – the upturned furrows of earth – to feast.


Seagulls and plough - woodcut by Tunnicliffe

Seagulls and plough – woodcut by Tunnicliffe


[1] A Child’s Garden of Verses, R.L.Stevenson
[2] Ancient name for Egypt: KEMET, meaning black land – Alchemy – the Raven’s Wing





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

Mysteries of Isis, part Four – The House of God

Labyrinth and Rose Cross

Labyrinth and Rose Cross


Masters Eye Cover - Version 2

Part 4 in the “Isis” series. This Meditation on the Virgo constellation and the Gothic art was written in 1992.  It is from my book “The Masters’ Eye” – inspired by Louis Charpentier’s “The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral” (R.I.L.K.O.)

Contact me if you would like a copy of “The Masters’ Eye”.  I produce it from home (275 pages) but might be able to turn it into an ebook.


roof, chartres

roof, chartres

In the House of God, the Cross represents the IAM (AHAM in sanskrit, AHIEH in hebrew) or AIM of Solomon’s temple. It was laid sky to ground-plan for the Common Era; in the cruciform shape of nave and transepts.

The horizontal beam of the Cross is warp and weft of the great picture of the universe. On this loom is strung the imaging or spectrum of the five senses: our body and terrain of perception.

The vertical beam, soaring limitlessly Above as Below, and effulgent through the sensory fabric, is the essence of our Self. Its spectrum, like Siva’s fiery column, transcends the narrow horizontal band of the senses and their story of space and time.  We see higher and lower octaves of the same instrument. (Link to “Cathedral Building“)

Essentially, the horizontal beam manifests time and space. The vertical beam intersects this tapestry at any given point of life, as cognition or awareness, before and after birth and death, and in the depth of dreamless sleep. It is anterior to the ‘evidence’ it illumines. It brings into play our hidden dimension.

netzach hod temperance sketch_0001

The heart of the Cross is a fluid point of stillness wherein the two planes meet. They create upon each other a factor of vital resistance: the birth of an evolutionary consciousness. The vertical beam is masculine, the Creative potential; and the horizontal is feminine, the balancing inertia or momentum: (or rajas, tamas, whose “balance” is sattva.) In the ground-plan of the Cathedral, the vertical is laid along the meridian west to east, Earth’s rotation to sunrise.** The horizontal crosses it, south and north, as do the Pillars of Solomon, to uphold the cosmic temple.

**Sunrise, itself motionless to the rotating surface of Earth, is “outside time”. Sunrise encircles our local measure and engirdles Earth. To the Temple plan, sunrise is the metaphysical centre of gravity, or “sky” unchanging

So we have first the creative principle, the idea upon the ground, a map or sacred diagram laid out along our axis of sunrise. From this arises the actual fabric, like a plant: the Tree of Life’s integrity on the columns of Jakin and Bohaz. The equilibrating of active and passive “poles” of construction, manifests this principle. A draft sketch is translated into an arch, a portal of height, breadth and depth. It manifests for us in three dimensions.

ogive chartres vault

Paradoxically, the visible, audible and tangible, is a worldly cross-section through the numinously unseen. The grace and proportion of the building, altering the consciousness that enters it, is an echo only of the Light which was its inspiration. It is the ripple or projection upon the sensory field, of all time, all space, and simultaneously it is neither.

Nowadays, a hologram is created by projecting laser beams to cross each other at right angles. An image is created in space when the mutual-interference pattern of their rays precisely fits. Upon this principle the perceptible universe is strung, and sustained. The same image-ing of three dimensions, from the galactic to the miniature, will manifest an apparently solid picture of reality, wherever you cut through the projection. You pass your hand through empty air, and yet the picture remains, like a standwave.

The same applies to apparently impregnable infrastructures of our mind, emotions, karmic dragons, and sorrows of life. What are these really? Who holds the lamp which illumines the inner space, like clear sky?

The Cathedral is a projection onto the physical plane, of a “hologrammatic” revelation, achieved by cross-fertilising or marrying that plane with its numinous perpendicular, in sacred geometry.


In twelfth century gothic art – (Fulcanelli’s argot or art-gothique, the slang of the Philosophers’ Stone) – the Knights of the Temple did not depict the Crucifixion. Their true Cross is in the natural ground-plan of heaven to Earth, as drawn with a circle round it by stake and string. This circumscribed cross is also an ancient form of the Hebrew letter TAV, which signifies completion.


The Christ, an ancient, immanent, unfathomable mystery uplifted in stone and earth, is in the Templars’ sanctuaries Un-crucified. The body of nave and transepts lies upon Earth to receive Heaven. This follows the law of mandala and yantra construction, which diagram the laws of tree growth. The holy Spirit so earthed, engages with the commodity of the world. And the gothic Temples to Notre Dame in northern France represent each a star in the Virgin constellation, as laid out over the land.

The real meaning of “the Virgin” is “she who is ripe”.

child madonna sketch 1957

At the time of harvest she is the fruitful womb, receptacle for implantation, one that is in readiness. The Spirit is seeded deep into matter, into the cave or oracle of Earth – the grain, the bread of life. In an earlier age, Our Lady was Isis of Egypt who reunited the fragments of the body of Osiris into his wholeness or Divinity. She has her counterpart in Hindu cosmology as Parvati, Mother of the universe, Daughter of the Mountain, shakti power of manifestation and abundance. In Greece she was known as Demeter and as Ceres, from whom the grain sprouts.

Her Knights, being Hospitallers or Guardians of the Sanctuary (routes of pilgrimage) enlisted in the early part of the twelfth century Common Era, the support of the Church, whom they funded. They made an offer which could not be refused, to build Houses of God. Their spiritual sponsor was the great Benedictine Bernard of Clairvaux.




But these Knights were not mere Crusaders. They were messengers of Great Mikael, archangelic slayer of Dragons clerical as well as secular: who, looking deep into the dark dense coil of Baphomet, liberates and raises up the Light – as consciousness. A hundred years or so later, the Church, frightened of their rival power, accused them of devil worship and burnt them at the stake.

Here, time as a Great Circle clashed with linear or ‘tick tock’ time. By then the Knights had seeded a number of soaring Temples of Light into the soil of Mother Earth in northern France; and more were undoubtedly planned to fill and peg down the entire constellation; the vessel for the Divine Child.  The Black Death followed their demise as an Order, fragmenting time, space and continuity. The Black Death flowed around the gothic sanctuaries which transcended it.

“Gothic” is a strange word, as handed down to us, for it has acquired paradoxical resonances of horror, caricature and over-elaboration – I believe this is due to the plague’s shocking spectre in our deep cellular and racial memory.


imponderables rose cross

The Order reappeared several generations later as a Rosy Cross fraternity, and from about the seventeenth century onward, was reorganised into the Degrees of freemasonry.

From the fertile soil or compost of the Black Death, had sprouted a strange Renaissance flower – Botticelli’s Aphrodite – and the later cultivation of a deductive science to investigate and ravish her.


small aphrodite

Hokhmah and Nezach on the Tree
I find a resonance or echo here with the birth of Aphrodite in greek mythology, from the castration of Uranus the god of Revelation. In those legendary dreams, Uranus, the Sky of Stars, lay with Gaea, Earth. Gaea grew tired of the incessant titans Uranus begot on her, and called on their young son Chronos – meaning cycles of Time and therefore limitation – to do the job. The procreative organ of Uranus fell into the sea. It stirred up a titanic froth on the wave, from which emerged the comely figure of Aphrodite, goddess of Desire, pulse of nature’s beauty, and of attraction.

In the geographical solar system, the polar tilt of both Venus and Uranus inclines at a virtual right-angle to that of the other planetary bodies. Mercury, Terra, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto all rotate more or less, west/east. The rotational spin of Venus and Uranus is north/south, almost into the plane of their orbits.

That innocence, inner science, or in-formed awareness of their association is shown in the ancient myths, whose Masters possessed no measure more than their ear to the ground.

Chartres, saints

Chartres, tintagel heart cave


From “Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral” by Louis Charpentier:
“The currents in old Earth are numerous and various, but here at Chartres we are concerned with one that is especially sacred, capable of awakening a man to the spiritual life. The DIVINE is born here, and no material influence may be allowed to trouble or destroy it. The Hill of Chartres must not be polluted. That is why, among all the french Cathedrals, Chartres is the only one in which no king, cardinal or bishop is interred. The Hill must remain virgin.”

This paragraph declares the Resurrection of the Christ. Here there is no merely dead seed.  The telluric pulse at Chartres is particularly potent. Here under the Mound in ages past, was enthroned a Black Virgin, Our-Lady-under-the-Earth, as a focus for pilgrimage and inner purification. She is our subconscious, so she is the ageless Isis, Demeter, Belisima.

Scorpio & Virgo glyphs:  phallus and womb

Scorpio & Virgo glyphs: phallus and womb

The currents in old earth – like the mesh of chorionic villi, those tiny vessels and fibres of lifeblood which embed the embryo in the lining of the maternal womb – are the same subtle meridians of the Dragon or Serpent energy which flow along the leylines. In the landscape, as in our body, these are gathered and released or contained at acupunctural power-points – (see in Charpentier’s work, and below, the map of Virgo Our Lady of the Constellation in France) – to invoke Archangel Mikael’s protection, and for gestation.

Virgo constellation:Chartres 4

These ageless foci of authority or power, are condensers. They are dolmens or druidic circles of stones. They became towers, temples and churches to Michael and Maria, the Guardian and the Mother of God. The Michael and Mary leyline in England runs from the eastern part of the country through Ogbourne St George in Wiltshire through Avebury and Stonehenge, Glastonbury and a succession of tumps, mounds and chapels across Sedgemoor, Devon and Cornwall to St Michael’s Mount in the bay of Penzance. A friend I visited in Ogbourne, where George slew the dragon of Albion, has a well inside her house sunk deep into this Line. Her guests have interesting dreams at night.

To “slay” or pierce the Dragon, harnesses its creative strength. It can be tamed and trained to become a strong and willing servant or alliance to the higher power. This corresponds to the Karmic “leyline” of tendency (ascending and descending Lunar nodes, known as the Head and Tail of the dragon) in our astrological maps. Where the Moon’s orbit around the Earth crosses the path of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, these are the Lunar nodes.

The Knight is the seer., The Dragon is his personal attachment to the mortal coil to master. The Dragon, as electric current in the copper wire, is coiled around a MAGNET, the treasure of the Source, our inner elixir.



madonna ikon





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



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.”


robert's hat


“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.”


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


hearing Robert whispering


“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.”


Sedona Landscapes – click on image to view


“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.”


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

Wolfie in sedona landscape


“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.”


“That’s enough pondering.”


robert xmas eve 3





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


Robert’s Imponderables – Part Three

robert from plane

Part Three of extracts from Robert’s satsang transcript §85 – see previous posts …


“You have absolutely nothing to do with pondering anything, for the truth is already present, shining in all its glory and splendour, and you are That . . . Ponder this.”


“There is really nothing you have to do to get yourself Self-realised, only to get yourself out of the way . . . Ponder this.”


arizona handclasp, rising waters


“Since there is no one to ponder, why are you pondering this?  You are beyond pondering, beyond trying to change conditions, beyond trying to improve your humanhood, beyond trying to get along in the world.  Since you are already the world, there is nothing else to do but to awaken to the truth . . . Ponder this.”


Wei wu wei iii


“To be your Self means not to be the body, or the mind, or the conditions in your life . . . Ponder this.”


“To be always happy, to be always contented, always at peace, and not to think at all, are the marks of a realised being . . . Ponder this.”


arizona bishops fingers


“What you see in this world is only your self. You can never see anything else.  Wherever you look, you will see yourself.  If you have troubles, you will see troubles everywhere.  If you are at peace with yourself, you will see peace everywhere.  You are the cause and creator of your particular world, and yet you have the power to change it, by turning within and not reacting to the things of this world whatsoever . . . Ponder this.”


kevin & tracey - Version 2


“You are born into a certain situation, with certain parents, a certain religion, a certain environment.  This is alright, and this is all good, and this is how it should be.  Use the opportunity to awaken.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, and comparing yourself with others, use the opportunity to awaken, to become totally free, by negating all these things and understanding the truth about yourself . . . Ponder this.”


Robert and Mary


‘It is a rare privilege to be born as a human being, even though it is an illusory birth.  But to be born as a human being is the only way you can find your Self.  An animal, a tree, a mineral, cannot do this.  You have been given the rare opportunity of birth, so that you may find Self realisation, and unfold into your true nature.  Do not use your time for anything else.  This is the purpose of being in this birth:  to become absolutely free and liberated . . . Ponder this.”


Ramana siddha

Ramana siddha





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

Robert’s Imponderables – Part Two

The Fool by a Well

See previous post for more soliloquies from the late American sage and jnani, Robert Adams, who sat with Ramana Maharshi …


“You are not what you appear to be.  The world is not what it appears to be.  The universe is not what it appears to be.  Your God is not what it appears to be . . . Ponder this.”


“The substratum of all existence is absolute intelligence, choiceless pure awareness.  Therefore, how can there be evil so called, on this earth?

“How can there be sickness, man’s inhumanity to man, lack and limitation on this earth, if the substratum is pure consciousness? . . . Ponder this.”


Arizona - river rock


“Everything that you behold with your senses is an optical illusion.  . . . Ponder this.”


robert 22.1.15_0001


“There is only one intelligence, one consciousness, one awareness, one ultimate reality, one life, and you are that . . . Ponder this.”


ramana puja


“To free yourself from this optical illusion, this maya, the mind has to be controlled, by finding its source . . .  Ponder this.”


“You find the source of the mind by following it to its original place of origin.  From where did it arise?  Who gave it birth?  How did you come by a mind?  By inquiring into the ultimate nature of the Self, you attain unconditional freedom . . . Ponder this.”

robert hat 2


“When one intelligently investigates the source of ‘I’, one then ultimately becomes free from the bondage of ‘I’, and becomes all pervading, omnipresent Consciousness . . . Ponder this.”

Arizona - ascending bishops rock


“Your past only exists because you think about it.  Your fears, your frustrations, only exist because you think about them.  Where would they come from if you didn’t think about them?  If you didn’t bring them into play in the present?  Where would they come from?  And how would they be there?  You are the cause of your problems . . . Ponder this.”

child playing with cosmic top


“The so-called good things of your life are equal to the bad things of your life.  They are both karmic, and you have created these things at one time or another.  You are now experiencing them.  The only way to remove them from your life is through inquiry:  To whom do they come?  What is their source? . . . Ponder this.”


“Who is the one that is pondering all these things?  That one must go !  . . . Ponder this.”

Robert Adams , 1928-1997:  Peace


To be Continued

robert with mary





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

Ganapati Muni’s Science of Mantra – Part Four

In this concluding post of the series, Ganapati Muni’s commentary elucidates the forms of Skanda and Indra which bear the mantra’s sound-wave, Sabda Brahman, seeing them realised in his spiritual brother and mentor, Ramana Maharshi of Arunachala.  See also the three preceding posts, and search “Puranas” on this blog for a racy account of the Skanda mythology.

Note: the god Skanda is also known as Kumara, Murugan (or Subrahmanya) and Krtikkai.


the Muni on tiger skin photo xerox copy

Third Chapter:  The Vedic Mantra of Guha
by Ganapati Muni

We have commented upon the two Tantric Mantras of the master Ramana. Yet his Mantras are found even in the Veda. Amongst them, here is a clear cut Mantra of Bhagavan:

“Vrsa jajana vrsanam ranaya
tamu cinnari naryam sasuva.
Prayah senanir adha nrbhyo astinah
satva gavesanah sa dhrsruh.”

  • The seer is Vasishtha. The Deity is Indra and the metre is Trishtubh.
  • vrsa is “Rudra who is of the form of Sabda Brahman”. He is vrsa because “he pours down (varsati) the special knowledge”;
    vrsanam “the God who showers down flames ranavya for battle”.
    To wage war brings forth the meaning vrsa jajana – (Rudra)
  • Tamu –  the way God, u, is indeclinable (without inflexions) – suggests the loftiness of the Name with which it is closely associated
  • nari cit is the divine Force: cit is indeclinable, used to denote the indescribable.
    If nari is derived from nara, men, then the word nari (feminine) means the Kundalini sakti hidden in man. (*)
  • sasuva“is produced”. In what way ? Naryam“born amongst men” – are the leaders, or perfected beings.
* Nari is feminine (nari-kundalini)

SITA 2 of lotuses



“Kundalini sakti in the body of perfected man produces for ‘battle’
Indra’s form within the fire of astra from Sabda Brahman.”

God, taking birth, “becomes the commander – senanih – of the armies of the Gods”.
The third and fourth lines of the verse conclude:

  • adha nrbhvo asti“and a helper to their leaders”
  • inah (means) svami“the Master”,  
  • satva “is the possessor of sat, of Truth”
  • gavesanah “seeking out”
  • sa “the acclaimed God”
  • dhrsruh, “assailer of all foes.”
Arunachala, inner path

Arunachala, inner path

To read here that Indra is being referred to and not Subrahmanya (Skanda), presents no problem. The ‘ordinary’ name for the fire of astra is Indra, and Kumara (Skanda) is the special name.

In what way ordinary? or special?   For instance, the common name for the sun is Light, but his special or personal name is Surya.

Indra denotes broadly, all ideas of multi-faceted strength.(18)

According to a thing’s true nature, each facet of it has separate specific or ‘special’ names.   In the Veda and the Brahmana it is well-known that Indra is the god of strength. The fire of astra is a powerful and mighty concept, for which, combined with supreme Lordship,  Indra’s name (as the ‘ordinary’) is appropriate. The commanding fire of astra is described specifically as Kumara.   There exists another reason beyond all this, which we shall submit later.

18 Indra denotes the strong lord, as in Mahendra, Kavindra, 
Munindra, etc.
Sacred India Tarot - Indra and Garuda

Sacred India Tarot – Indra and Garuda



When the world was afflicted by powerful Asuras, the Gods begged and prayed to Brahma the Creative power for relief.   Brahma replied the young Kumara (Skanda) born of Rudra from Gauri would destroy the Asuras. Later Kama the god of lust was sent by the Gods to incline ascetic Rudra towards the idea of progeny. Kama was burnt up (by one look from Rudra’s third eye). Thereupon, the young Gauri did tapas. Attracted to the severity of her tapas (spiritual effort) Rudra married her. Uniting with her, he ejected his seed upwards. The seed took shelter successively in the fire, in the water and in the stalk of sara grass, and finally became the young one, Kumara.

Parvati(Gauri) and Siva with Ganapati and Skanda

Parvati(Gauri) and Siva with Bull Nandi and their children Ganapati and Skanda. Ganapati’s vehicle is the rat, and Skanda’s is the peacock.

In other words:   All human means were futile to conquer the Asura race (of demons) who devastated the world by the strength of their maya.   Here we should take the Asura race as a specific, or special human type; in the world of men the Kingdom of Asuras became perpetual.  (A problem cannot be solved with itself; the higher octave has to be called in.) The Gods gave astra, wisdom (*) to the seers, in order to destroy the Asuras. With the destruction of the Asuras, the Kingdom of the devotees of God became once more established on earth.

Sacred India Tarot Siva Ace of Lotuses


Sacred India Tarot - Siva tests Parvati with a Mask - Version 3

This story is related by Itihasa in a covert manner. When the jiva does tapas, firstly kama, desire, is burnt by the glory of tapas.   We should not forget the fact, that the state of  tapas is  poised in the effulgence of Sabda Brahman.   Though desire is burnt up in its gross form, it prevails in the seed form, and impels the Kundalini sakti, called Gauri (or Parvati), to perform tapas.   About Kundalini being called Gauri, it is said in the Upanishad: “pita bhasatyanupama.” (19)     Gauri’s form of Kundalini is fairly wellknown in the Tantra. By her tapas, the Sabda Brahman manifests.

The whole purport is that the form of the Supreme Vak (pronunciation, divine speech) becomes capable of experiencing.   When Kundalini herself, reunited with Sabda Brahman, performs tapas, the sound vibration (energy) manifests.   It impels the energised sound in the sky, and becomes the astra.

The seed of Sabda Brahman is cultured in the fire of muladhara (root) and the nectar of the head (sahasrara) – these are said to be its consecutive sojourns in Agni and in Ganga. (20)

The manifestation in the stalk of sara grass has been described in the Second Chapter.

We have to take the Asuras as belonging to all times, not as born in a particular period.   Itihasa’s aim is to propound an all time truth.

* - or Awareness

19 - Gauri, lit. "of golden yellow colour." The Narayana 
Upanishad says "Yellow, like an atom, she shines."

20 - In the subtle body, the centre at the base of the spine 
is muladhara and the centre at the top of the head is 
sahasrara. Muladhara is the seat of Fire, while sahasrara 
is the seat of the moon wherefrom the nectar flows.
As Ganga is the celestial river, she symbolises the nectar 
in sahasrara while Agni is the element in muladhara. The seed 
of the Sabda Brahman passes from muladhara to sahasrara, and 
has its sojourn in both centres before it manifests. 

This is the meaning of the Puranic story that Skanda is 
born from Agni as well as from the Ganga.
Gauri - Parvati - being pestered by sages

Gauri – Parvati – being pestered by sages



Well, is it not to destroyTaraka that Skanda is born? Is Taraka a historical personage?

No. Yet, Tarakasura represents a truth. Taraka is death, one who (as the ferryman) takes across –   tarati – all men. (20A)   In both ways, Guha (in heart’s cave) conquers Death. By granting Self knowledge, he conquers death, the lack of awareness which causes samsara.   By the strength of the astra, he conquers death, the desire of his foes.   It is said in the Puranas that the Tripura Asuras are sons of this same Taraka.   The Tripura Asuras are none other than the three bonds. (21) Their father is lack of awareness.   That is, we fall from the Self into the body – into the idea (of being separate), of considering it as the self.

20A See also tara, goddess of time

21 The Three Bonds are the three pasas from which release is 
sought from Varuna by the Vedic Rishi. In the later Tantra, 
these take the form of the three granthi knots in the subtle 
body: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Asura Lord (Demonic)

Asura Lord (Demonic)



How do the words commander of armies in the Mantra signify ‘commander of armies of the gods?’   Indra, the King of Gods, becomes in this context their commander. This is made clear in another Mantra:

“Indra asem neta brha spatir      Let Indra be the leader. Let Brhaspati
dakshina yajnah pura etu somah           go in front, Dakshina, the sacrifice, and Soma
Devasenanam abhibhanjatinam     Let the Maruts march in the forefront
jayantinam maruto yatvagram.”    of the army of the Gods that demolish and conquer

Rig Veda X.103.8

This Mantra is mentioned in the chapter on astra. Also, the word ina in the Mantra became later on in the common parlance the word svami, (22) Master.

“Vavrajasim anadatir adabdha     He moved all round the seven mighty ones
divo yahvir avasana anagnah     of Heaven; undevouring, inviolate.
Sana yatra yuvatayah, sa yonir        neither were they clothed, nor were they naked;
Ekam garbham dadhire sapta vanih.”   here, young and eternal in one native land
the seven Voices held in their womb the one Child

Rig Veda III.1.6. (Sri Aurobindo’s translation)

Sapta vanih are the Seven metres* in Sanskrit poetry.   The birth of Agni as this Mantra is nothing other than the fire of astra.   This is revealed in the hymn of Agni in the sense of burning: but not with the idea of physical fire.

22 - Svami is one of the principle names of Skanda.

* - The seven metres represent also seven stars in the 
Pleiades constellation, the 'natural mothers' of the child 

Gauri Siva's bride was the daughter of the Himalaya. She is
also known as Parvati in the Puranic cycle. The river
Ganga, lit by the seven stars and the moon,"poured down"/
descended through Siva's matted dreadlocks in their love-play.
As stated earlier, neither the fire (Agni) nor the water 
(Ganga) could receive his seed. It finally came to rest
in the stalk of the mantric sara grass. From the mythology
we gain some idea of the elemental power of mantra. 
See previous post - Part Three.

Skanda as Muruganar and Krttikai (pleiades)

Skanda as Muruganar and Krttikai (pleiades

Another version of this tale is Siva's seduction of the 
wives of seven Rishis (seers) in the forest. Entering 
the heart of the fire (Agni) to which the women came to 
warm themselves,Siva impregnated them through their hair 
follicles, causing chaos in the ashram. The seed could
not be held by them, or by fire or by water, until it 
came to rest in the grass; then Gauri's breasts filled,
and the world rejoiced, unknowing as yet where the 
divine child with six heads lay.


Ganapati Muni saw in his spiritual brother Ramana 
Maharshi, the effulgence of Skanda the warrior of light who
delivered us from Taraka. Ramana taught Self-enquiry which 
dismantles the mind and quests consciousness:  the "I ... I".


Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi




Now we must say a word about the individualised Personality of the maya (23) form of Brahman with attributes, which is known as Subrahmanya.

We say that Indra alone is Guha’s form pertaining to the Gods. This is because Agni, the energy of sound-vibration is in the middle region; and Indra is the Lord of the middle region. This is proven in the Aranyaka when, referring to Indra, it closes with the words, Subrahmanyam, Subramanyam.

Indra’s Vedic fame as the War God, lends additional support.

What is Siva’s form among the Gods? It is Indra only. If it is said, that as father and son they are one and the same, this is correct. The only difference to note, is regarding the hidden Sabda Brahman and the manifest sound vibration. The relationship of father and son is mentioned to specify Siva and Subrahmanya (Skanda).

What is Ganapati’s form among the Gods? It is Indra only. If it is said, that as brothers Ganapati and Subrahmanya are one and the same, this is correct. The only difference to note, is that regarding the perfected mantra within, and the astra Agni impelled by it. The fraternal relationship demonstrates that first the mantra is born from Sabda Brahman; then the astra Agni.     Through the concept of Ganapati, we explain Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati. (24)

What is lightning’s form pertaining to the Gods?   It is Indra only.   Here he has a unique quality. Indra is named as the deity of Lightning.

storm in devon:daily mail

There are other great conceptual facets in the middle region, with Indra as their deity. They are not mentioned here, as we would have to go into a lot of detail.

23 Maya - form - the form that we measure out of the 

24 Ganapati, Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati - all three names 
denote the same Godhead in the Veda of the famous Rik 
"Gananam tva ganapatim lawamake ..." 

Brishaspati - Lord of the letters; Brahmanaspati - Lord of 
the Mantras. Brahma means both letter and mantra in the veda. 
Ganapati Lord of tantra, and these two names, denote the 
same Godhead.


doorstep pattern tiru j&d7

Doorstep chalk pattern at dawn in Tiruvannamalai




By means of whichever portion of energy the Lord Indra descends into awareness, the descent bears that specific or personal Name.  

Indra’s descent as a portion of the lightning bears his own name. His descent as a portion of Sabda Brahman is named Rudra. His descent as the force of Tantra is known by the name Ganapati, and his descent as a portion of sound vibration is called Skanda. Ganapati and Subrahmanya (Skanda) are brothers, and they are interdependent.

We have briefly interpreted the three great Mantras of the Master. We shall develop the conceptual truth of Skanda in our Devata mimamsa. (25)

25 - Another of Vasishtha Ganapati Muni's works, where he 
unravels the significances of the Deities

Thus Ends the Third Chapter.


Thus ends the Commentary on the Mantras of the Master,
a work of Ganapati Vasishtha, son of Narasimha
and disciple of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

shankara gives the vedas copy

The Closing Verse

“Munina srimukhe simhe dive suryendusangame
Suryoparagasamaye bhasyam etadudiritam.”

“In the month Sravana of the year Srimukha
on a new Moon day, at the time of Solar eclipse,
this Commentary was given out by the Muni.”




Muni & family copy 2


1).   Subrahmanya is the one who is born of the auspicious Brahman, that is, Sabda Brahman.

2).   By this we have explained the name Brahma garbha (from the womb of Brahma)

Vide Amara: “Subrahmanya brahma-garbha svami saravanodbhavah”.

3).   Kumara, eternal child. He is born, finishes the work and again vanishes. Again manifests at the time of work. Therefore, he is called the eternal child. In the Veda, in the Hymn to Indra, is mentioned arbhako na kumarakah26 . Also,sadyo jajnano nirinati saturn’.27

4).   By this we have explained the name sanat kumara – sanat always; kumara, young one.

5).   Sanatsujatah also in the same way. sanat, always; sujatah, well born.

6).   Sanandana samanah equal nandanah, son (giver of happiness) to Rudra along with Ganapati.

7).   Sanakeh, eternal.

Thus these four names denote one and the same person. Perhaps because of their different manifestations, it appears they were mentioned as four (28) .

26 The youth like a little child

27 Born at once, he demolishes the foes.

28 The four disciples of Shiva as Dakshinamurti: Sanaka, 
Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata. Etymologically they 
have the same meaning and denote one and the same principle.
(See also Sanatanadharma)

Muni on wall copy

Here the Commentary and Appendix by the Muni ends.

We express our grateful thanks to Sri K.Natesan of Ramanasramam for making this rare manuscript available to us, and for his help with the text.   Ganapati Muni’s Commentary on the Mantra of the Master, was recently published by Ramanasramam, along with the first translation into English of Kapali Sastri’s sanskrit Commentary on the Ramana Gita.   Material from this has been utilised for the present work.

For the benefit of English readers, the language and presentation of the Guru Mantra Bhashya text have been slightly adjusted, and translations of Vedic Mantras, that were provided as footnotes, are now incorporated in the text, for easier reference..

J.A. Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK 2002

Arunachala village children

Arunachala village children





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



Ganapati Muni’s Science of Mantra: Part Three

by the fire '94 j&d11

CONTINUED FROM PART TWO – the “Guru Mantra Commentary” by Ganapati Muni (see previous post.)

Mantric language is cyclic, rhythmic, primordial. Whether we know any Sanskrit or not, the vibration grows through a commitment of the syllables to archetypal visual images. This passage develops the ASTRAGNI or weapon within the mantra.  In my understanding, only a pure intention may access the metaphysical power of the Word:  otherwise it rebounds.

In Part Two, we bowed to Guru in the heart’s cave. Here in Part Three, the repeated sounding of vacadhbu,  agni, sara, sastra encircle and warm up my path of awe.  I do not know.  Unconfined to the mind, the resonance is received afresh;  I begin again to ascend the mountain at dawn.


Second Chapter: The Enunciation of the Second Mantra

The Muni continues:
In this second chapter, we shall comment on another Tantric mantra of Bhagavan. Here is its verse of enunciation: (No English translation available)

“Sukham krsanuh kilalam
Nidra vari ca vikhyato
Namo mantro vadadbhuvah.”

The letter sa, Sukham happiness;   the letter ra krsanuh, fire; the letter na kilalam, water; the letter va murdhanyah anunasikah;   the letter na nidra, cerebral nasal;   the letter bha vari, sleep;   the letter va, water.(**)

1. Happiness sa
2. Fire ra
3. Water va
4. Cerebral nasal  na
5. Sleep bha
6. Water va

6 point star cube

When these six letters are read together they become sa ra va na bha wa. – “One who is born from the forest of sara”. As there are six letters in this Mantra also, like before, we understand by this the six faces of Skanda. (*)

**- Sri Sankaranarayanan’s translation of this paragraph 
was ambiguous, and K.Natesan apparently overlooked my query 
about it. I have arranged it as best I can, and would welcome the 
advice of an educated Sanskrit reader. J.A.
*- The child Skanda (Kumara)- seed of Agni in the wives of Seven 
Rishis who warmed themselves by the fire - could not be carried 
by wives (goddesses of Krttika the Pleiades constellation) or 
Himalaya mountain or Ganga river, so it fell in a bed of reeds 
(grass). Six parts of the seed joined in this birthplace as one
six headed child; Siva's wife Parvati filled with milk and the 
universe rejoiced - for this child of Siva (through the inter-
mediary of Agni) was destined to defeat the demon of the 
reactive mind, Taraka. 
Skanda's older brother was Ganapati.

Note from Wendy O’Flaherty: ‘Siva the Erotic Ascetic’

ramana embryo

ramana embryo



“One who is born from the forest of sara, a kind of grass”. ASTRAGNI : (astra, missile or weapon invoked with a mantra, agni, sacred fire) – this means “fire of guided missile”. Here, a physical fire born from igniting grass, is not what is meant. If it were, it would not be vacadbhu – born out of the sound vibration (energy). 

The story that the effulgent seed of Rudra placed in the stalk of grass became Kumara, has some deep truth behind it:   Rudra is full of sound. His effulgent seed is the fire born by focussing the perfected astra mantra of a great yogi accomplished in the lore of the astras. It acquires the form of sara, grows, and slays its enemies.

“Vidma sarasya pitaram parjanyam – “We know the father of the SARA,
bhuridhayasam   – Parjanya, liberal nourisher,
Vidmo svasya mataram – we know his mother Prithvi,
prthivim bhurivarpasam. – earth with her manifold designs.

Jyake pari nona masmanam tonvan krdhi – O, Bowstring, bend thyself around us,
Virur variyo ratirapa dvesarasya krdhi.” – make my body stone.
Firm in thy strength, drive far away malignities and hateful things.”    

Aghawa Samkita II. 1. 2.

poppy and wild oat


visual reference, bow-arrow

Sara described in the above two Mantras is a special kind of grass, not an arrow made of bamboo or metal.   This is indicated by saying that its mother and father are the earth and the rain God.   If we say that bamboo also, being a tree, can deserve to be the son of the earth and the rain God, the fourth Mantra in that same chapter, removes any doubt :

Yatha dyam ca prthivim cantas tiethati tejanam
evarogam casravam cantas tisthatu munja it. 

Just as the sharp point stands
between earth and heaven, 

let the munja grass stand between wellbeing and illness.

For the Rose and the Fire are One

Breaking through – For the Rose and the Fire are One

Here by the word munja he deduces the aforesaid sara.   Munja is a type of grass and not bamboo. How could fragile grass be capable of killing enemies without relating to astra, the fire warming the word which an accomplished Mantra fills ? (15)

“Isikam jaratim stva
tilpinjam dandanam nadam
Tamindra idhmam
krtva yamasyagvim niradadhan

He sought the grass, Isika
tilpinja, nada and dandana.
He enriched Indra’s fuel
and the fire of Yama.

Athawa Samhita XII.2.54.

sphere of arrows ja


Isika, Tilpivja, nada are types of grass. Dandanum might be of bamboo. Amongst them isika is a synonym for the sara grass.   Here by the word Indra, the Jiva is meant. As the Veda says: “Rupam Rupam pratirupo babhuva.”16.  He, the perfected Person knows the astra. He bound the isika grass into faggots, and nourished the sages around the fire of Yama, Kala, Time.   This means he expanded and increased that which stood in the sky as the fire of Time.

Time is not different from sound. The sound resonates subtly in the sky and cultures everything.

15- ASTRA from the root AS - to throw; a missile, usually of grass
or any fragile material backed up by a powerful Mantra, 
though astra is loosely translated as an arrow.
Sastra(scriptures) is an arrow, while astra is a weapon backed up 
by the Mantra. 
Here the Mantra is significant, and not the material used as a 

16- "He put his image in every form."
Frank Humphries, Ramana and the Muni

Frank Humphries, Ramana and the Muni


That is why we have said in our Indra Gita:

“Sadvyapakasaktim pranam kathayanti
Vyaktetarasabdam kalam ganayanti.” (17) 

“The pervading force of Existence they call Prana ;
and they reckon as Time the unmanifest Sound.”

17- Indra Gita is one of the compositions of Ganapati Muni
and is included in Gitamala.

 photo of the muni copy


There itself it has been said that Kala, Time, is known by the name of Yama and Rudra.

“Rudram vidureka netarbahulilam
Prahur yamam anye kayam tava kalam.”

“O, Leader, some know you as Rudra of many sports ;
Others call thy body Time, Yama.”

Rudra who is the Sabda Brahman and Time factor pervades the sky. His effulgence impelled by the fire of Mantra becomes the Agni, named astra in the form of sara. This Agni is the Lord, the Commander-in-Chief of the armies, the destroyer of Asuras, the accomplisher of the Divine Purpose. The word isu is formed only from the word isika. The ancients employ the word isvastra to denote astra.

“Isvastram esam devatvam paritranam satamiva
Bhayam vai manuso bhavah parivado satamiva.”       

“Their astra denoted divinity.
It bore divine protection to good people.
Fear is their human aspect to the wicked.”

SITA ace arrows Bhishma blocks the Ganga - Version 4

By esam (*) the Kshatriyas (warriors) are covered. Also the primary name for astra is only isikastra. (See Ramayana and Mahabharata). Though the word sara meant astra, later on by derivative significance, it came to denote the arrow. The word sara is a pointer to the other “faggot bundles” (weapons) of astra.   Principally, the usage is the form “from out of the forest of sara”, saravanabhava.

* esam, a Sanskrit word for prowess (footnote supplied by 

Bhagavan coaxes a devotee



If “Skanda” had these attributes alone, he would be a War God, not the Guru Causal. Yet being the God of war does not deter him from being the Guru Causal. In fact, it helps. The one who manifests the fire of astra, destroying foes, is our inner illumination. He burns away the ties that bind, and reveals the shore beyond darkness.

An effulgence  of sound is inner knowing. By this alone, the Brahmin attains a vision of the Divine.

By the effulgence alone, the Kshatriya (warrior) masters the divine astra. The effulgence is the Brahmanhood of Brahman;  the kingship of the Warrior caste.

And thus ends the Second Chapter.






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