More Sketches of Beethoven

Beethoven and ... Rostropovich?  I found this forgotten early drawing from the 1970s, while searching for the two which I have lost.  I used to find it 'easier' to draw him than I do now!

Beethoven and … Rostropovich? (circa 1972).  I found this forgotten early drawing from the 1970s, while searching for the two which I have lost. I used to find it ‘easier’ to draw him than I do now! I love listening to the Beethoven cello sonatas.

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Continuing this “Beethoven series” inspired by Elene’s researches :  this post includes some journaling over the weekend, and portraits of the master by others, and from my new sketches.

First: a detail from my “watershed” series of dreams during the 1970s:

September 1976 – from “Paris and the Hollow Way”
(Watershed Tales)

“Smelling the flowers which grow around the end of Boulevard Malesherbes, I see the bright food in the brasseries, the Gaulish striped canopies over smoked glass. Avenues which radiate from this place are planted tree-deep with bouquets gathered this morning from the tart grass; the dew is still upon them – the waters of a river, where the pit of the railway once was
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“And yet this place in Paris has mile upon mile of shattered streets and dirty weathered brick.  The sorrow moves me, through field upon field of unhoused space, like Liverpool after the war.  As far as I see, no man lives here.  It moves me in strange ways.  I discussed these ways with the old hoardings of scarred planks and corrugated iron which give and take along the road. What tragedian devastated this land?

“No man,” they replied.  No man is an island.  But they live and speak.  Their answer is in nomadic ways, in syllables of philosophy I cannot recall.  They are my notice boards, my inner adversities that talk.

“So I came at last to an arrangement with Beethoven, of whom I was very fond.  I found him in a room without much light, and a musty smell … maybe a Viennese cellar during Napoleon’s bombardment?  I agreed to draw a portrait for him of his daughter.  She’s a small child, and her facial features are very dark.  For hours I toiled with each line and contour.  I saw Beethoven’s light within her, her soul so clear where she sat, but I couldn’t get it right.  The expression of her mouth and eyes, came into me, but I couldn’t connect.  I hesitated. I erased and drew, and erased again and drew.  The difficulty stared me in the face like having to learn all over again to walk, and made me cringe with pain.  I struggled to achieve at length an approximation:  my facility is lost, and I forgot the way.  There are no short cuts I can take.”

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The young child Beethoven?
portrait by an unknown artist, discovered in 1972
and … how might he have looked?

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I was reminded of this, because I had rather a struggle to draw Beethoven over the weekend.  I lost two early sketches of him which I like – maybe I gave them away – so I tried to reconstruct them.  The creative process doesn’t always flow.  Beethoven often had titanic difficulty with his compositions, scribbling and shouting and scratching out and searching for what he heard in the rain and the trees, from God.

Beethoven on a walk ... Pastorale

Beethoven on a walk … Pastorale

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Journal 24 July – Beethoven and Vera
He really is around … two new followers to my blog, who write about him and about pianos – did they come in through Vera Moore?

On Emily’s piano yesterday however, the three or four out-of-tune keys were very noticeable, and I couldn’t ride it well;  it was evening after a long tiring day.  When I played, the flowing faculty wasn’t there, and I stumbled along the up-down action.  I rang the tuner:  he said it could be tuned again in two or three months, but if it gets unbearable he will come and see what he can do.  One small consolation:  my own piano – a Spencer upright – is easier!

Strings and hammers - detail from a larger painting

Strings and hammers – detail from a larger painting

It was a revelation for me the day before, that to play Beethoven we must meditate with love: that is, to wait and let him enter.  He reaches the soul universally and constantly regenerates and sprouts runners along the higher astral ground – a hardy perennial.  The perennial is love – the humanitarian love which strove and strode nobly with his wrecked health and domestic furies.

I need to tune into that love, spontaneously or deliberately, to play him at all.  I have to walk with him and feel the rain, meditate and imagine the wild wind in the trees I see, and the noble themes it whispers onto a sodden notebook page.  The love and the divine beauty had to force a way through discordant tinnitus.

Beethoven walk: by Julius Schmid

Beethoven walk: by Julius Schmid

This must have made the silent sound of the outer world unbearably alluring – to see the movement and feel the wet rain.  On his walks the nature devas counselled him: he sang and scribbled and “raved”.  To rave is to be ravished in the elements.  People who knew him recorded the way his face opened into a raptus.  The raptus of old Beethoven fought the daily cacophonies inside his ears, and strode the serene paradox of the late quartets and the Opus 111 Arietta.

I did long ago, a small oil sketch of B walking in the grass hatless – can’t find it yet – did it get left behind at the red hedgehog?  Yesterday it was clear to me that my enormous labour of love at the red hedgehog in 2011 (a small and struggling concert venue), to clean and sand down and varnish the floors which were filthy, was for Beethoven.  I did it for the Peter Donohoe Beethoven series there – hook, line and sinker:  an esoteric assignment if you will.  If I hadn’t cleaned and brightened the floors, that wonderful Beethoven series might not have happened or touched earth there – a peak symbolic moment.  The sublime got through the chaos – the timeless touch spread fore and aft, and struck its Sound and Glory.

Klein, Franz / Micheli: Beethoven-Maske mit Lorbeerkranz, nach der Lebendmaske von Klein

Klein, Franz / Micheli: Beethoven-Maske mit Lorbeerkranz, nach der Lebendmaske von Klein

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As I mentioned Vera Moore above, suddenly my world with her is here too.  She is with me.  She was my piano teacher in Paris in 1965:  her eternal Life in a rickety household, rather like Beethoven’s – but she lived till she was 90:  her strong caress of the keys, like wrapping a baby – her reverent joy – giving birth to her “son of Art” and bringing him up through the French Resistance and after the war:  her powerful and abrasive personality as a younger woman and single mother – I hear again the obstinate ripple of her voice.  It didn’t bother her if her old Gaveau was out of tune – she couldn’t afford the tuner.

Vera Moore when I knew her - this drawing from memory is from the early 1970s

Vera Moore when I knew her – this drawing from memory is from the early 1970s.  I can imagine her sitting with me, and what she might say about this note or that note, wrapping my fingers round it like a baby with a shawl … her way with poetic images and her LOVE … her instruction to play what I am learning, like a chorale, without any inhibitions – sing it inside, with the touch.

I read somewhere that Liszt could draw forth the heart and soul from an out-of-tune instrument and captivate his listeners.  There must be a way of using those odd sounds.

One of Vera’s students helped her to write a piano Method.  I don’t think I heard Vera play Beethoven, but when Beethoven’s window opens in my soul, I may be pretty sure she will come through it as well.  Her gift like his, is a delicate seed of power, grace, humour and peace, in a turbulent nest.

I think Vera taught her piano students the “horizontal” caress which holds and rolls along the white and black keys, and on rare occasions comes through me in a moment of delight (I soon fall off !).  I believe Liszt played like this, glancing sideways with seductive smile (“isn’t this amazing?”); and Paul Roes aims to reconstruct it in his “Music – the Mystery and the Reality“.

Vera Moore in the 1930s - from Winifred Nicolson's  painting of her

Vera Moore in the 1930s – from Winifred Nicolson’s painting of her.  Search ‘vera moore’ on this blog, for my two posts about her.

I do prefer old uneven character pianos to the mechanically-perfect electronic keyboards.  You can hear straight away, even through a high open window.

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A sketch of Beethoven in his teens.  This one 'works' for me - and took just a few minutes.

A sketch of Beethoven in his teens. This one ‘works’ for me – and took just a few minutes.

silhouette of Beethoven at 16

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Here is a timely message from a fellow blogger:

“Draw a circle
place inside of it
every aspect of your
human experience …
all emotions
all actions
all shame and guilt
all the things you would love to forget
and all that you hope
you will never forget.

“Make it a place where all of it fits.
Let them no longer be strangers
to one another.
Let them take off their shoes and stay a while
rub elbows
break bread
toast to one another’s health and long life.

“When everything that you have experienced
is located in one place
you are
finally
‘One with Everything’.”

Charlie Morris wrote this poem … this morning, about everything in his life, the human texture, difficulty and joy, being in this one room unconditionally and inclusively, which is “God”.  It is not spiritual or unspiritual.

So Beethoven poured basins of water over his head to cool the fire of composition.  Now see and breathe interior peace in and as the room.  Nobody is alive without depending on something or someone for their well being.  No one goes it alone.  Look at what I depend on!  If my path with the Inner School was taken away, where would I be?

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Gallery, working from Kloeber and Carolsfeld’s portraits
– click to view

 

I spent the rest of the day trying to draw Beethoven – three more efforts.  It is much more difficult for me than it used to be – and so is playing the piano.  I found my Robbins Landon book which has lots of pictures, and an interesting photoshop idea online, with B’s life mask.  I got very bogged down and stuck.

I also extracted from my 2011 journals, the gist of Peter Donohoe’s Beethoven series at the red hedgehog (zum roten igel in North London) – I might put it in my next post, with my sketches of PD’s master-class.  Then my energy was all gone.

Gallery – click to view

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Gallery

Beethoven kept this painting by Joseph Mahler on his wall throughout his many changes of lodging.  It must have been among his few possessions – apart from the thousands of pages of his notebooks – which survived.  He will have identified particularly with its heroic quality.  Another of his treasured paintings was the one of his grandfather.

I decided to ‘have a go’ with this one, but quickly found the pose too artificial and romantic to reproduce convincingly!  So I switched to the idea of him conducting from the keyboard – keep practicing !   Keep trying  …

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Helen Ede in 1974, on my last visit to her.  She is knitting a sock for 'Old Bonesie', my grandfather.  Through the window you could see the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh

Helen Ede in 1974, on my last visit to her. She is knitting a sock for ‘Old Bonesie’, my grandfather. Through the window in Jordan Lane, you could see the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh

I hear the severe ecstasy of my grandmother, Helen Ede – her face and eagerness shaped somewhat like his. She used to play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata on her Bechstein … in whose dusky dark tones I explored his slow movements.  When her memory went, or she fell off a note, she would say ‘h’ai’ crossly.

We spoke together about the Arietta in his Opus 111 – after listening to her old record of Claudio Arrau playing it. Her face lit up: I cannot reproduce her voice, but she said something like this:

“… the long trills where the sun comes out.  You have in the beginning an austerity, and through the variation the austerity slowly relents, letting go of its own form, to melt and smile and dance.  You know that place where the dotted rhythm begins to go around, and around, to break it up – dissolving the form into light without ever quite losing it … ?  it falls open and time stops.  It seems to me that through that light, very gradually emerges again the variation.  The theme didn’t quite disappear, but is transcended and transfigured.  Then slowly the bar lines return, and the theme resumes.”

Beethoven in last quartets mode

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Imagining old Beethoven in private, his deaf face, his pain transfigured, alone in that mess of a room, having just poured another bucket over himself … I hear in some of his piano music, the Dionysian cyclic mandala or mantra rhythm, like Dante’s cosmic rose, dissolving into light.

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“Ochh Jane,” says my grandmother in her Scottish-German accent, “Oh what a sight to see.”

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Claudio Arrau 1986: from the record sleeve of Opus 111

Claudio Arrau 1986: from the record sleeve of Opus 111

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

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

aquariel link

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

Tales of the Watershed – Chinese Torch Prints

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fish by Steven Szegedy Szuts

fish by Steven Szegedy Szuts

Dreams No.89   May 1975

IF YOU were Chinese …

If who was Chinese?   Me, you or history?

The dream is a scribe of “his” story.   The dream tells me with some authority, that if I was Chinese and wise like a mandarin, I would know very well that I make my own bed to sleep on. The floor on which I lie for the night to imprint “his” story in my fibre, should be roughened.   Otherwise it will have no “key”.   My pillow would then slip, and no message come to my hearing.

This seems to be an ancient Oriental tradition.   As you make your bed, so you live.   A page too smooth cannot take the ink from heaven and the underworld. The fibre holds the script.   The rationale for this insight comes to me with all the force of Chinese respect for ancestry, and with the revelation of a brush scribing pictures.

So far so good.

Am I a printing press?   And from which civilisation did Renaissance Europe take the idea?

They say to me in this dream, roughen a plank on the wooden floor with a flaming torch to char the grain.   Lay paper on the burnt patch, and your pillow on the paper.   And lo! when you raise your head from sleep the paper will be printed with the mark of your life.

old tao sage

This principle seems unfathomably relevant to living, creating and suffering. A wisdom within it glows – something to do with fire which heats, burns out old wood and hollows a primitive boat for voyaging.   In the spirit of fire are interwoven myriad patterns of incarnation.   I gaze into the embers of flame, red, yellow, blue, violet, sometimes even lucid green. In fragile castles of carbon, whole histories fall to ash.   A dreamer is a traveller on the spot with his or her ear to the ground.

Certain prints of life are stroked out into the crinkle of slow flame; they glow.   It is breaking my heart!   how some people can play with fire and create these without having to make beds to lie in, or go to sleep at all.   These people – like my sister – have wonderful ideas.   They conjure filigree landscape from random traceries of the wood’s charred grain, to the delight of all who behold.

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B gave me some sheets of thick paper to experiment with.   And look, my sister and her friend Jemima at school are here in the room with me;   in their play, they made five or six colour pictures by holding the burning torch to the thick paper.   The sharp, incisive lines of their pictures have the glory of a Byzantine woodcut.   The flame crinkled or split lines or curves along the papery grain, along which they drew. I held those pictures in my hands.   I gazed at them envious, and humble, before such mastery.   B said my sister was an ordinary girl – so I never saw the power and clarity of her imagination, till now.   How does she do it?   Won’t she show me?   Then I could make a card like this, for his birthday next week.   I want him to value something from me, some taste and texture to delight in, like new brown bread, or an earthen pot with lapis lazuli glaze.   Then he couldn’t possibly tell me I’m a “spiritual desert”.

I was in his room later.   He went to get loo-paper for me to blow my nose.   We agreed to see each other less often for a while.   At least, our dialogue is not a wound.   Can we shake out the feathers, allow our own colours to grow, be less mutually invaded when we meet?   Hope broke shyly through into space.   The mood changed, and became sensitive to one another.   It could smile and laugh with our trouble.

I showed him three of those prints my clever sister made – the tension of her inner eye and the delicacy of her touch.   “Look!”   I said.   “My sister made those. What an artist she is.” Here’s a black and white one of a labyrinth, an immense industrial landscape somewhere in the North Country. To the left, a group of business magnates in top-hats and frock-coats, barter nineteenth-century expansion.   They haven’t refined the technology yet.   Smoke billows from chimneys, stove-pipes and flues, and to the right a black city opens to the foot, an intricate tangle of streets and sooty towers – a pool of life that is still a furnace.

So she too knew Liverpool!   And here’s a green one, the deft caricature of an earthy old man bent like a gnome.   The third one shows a field of long summer grass deep enough to wade in, rich with clover and wild garlic, active with the multi-level hierarchy of small creatures.   All her Tragic Stories are here, to walk with – the stories she tells to herself with chewed stems of grass for girls’ hair and bits of bent wire for boys’ legs. She is a sturdy, short-sighted child. She mumbles her song through field and farmyard, utterly absorbed in the drama at play in her hands.   I follow sometimes, and listen.

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I am burning to do it too.   I want to release that vision heat-held in wood and paper.   I thirst for the water of life, that slow dew of remembering …

What is really happening is that a baby is sitting here in this room with the burnt patch on the floor, a baby with dark eyes.   And the drawing that he, she, I, am doing so carefully along the advice of the ageless sages collapsed, and broke into a wild infant scrawl.

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child caught tasting pebbles - Art-Not-Doing 1987

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**

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

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

aquariel link

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

A Tale from the Watershed: Birds Nest Epoche

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From "A Way of Life" by Jim Ede

From “A Way of Life” by Jim Ede

Watershed Dreams No.88 – May 1975

A pair of swallows or starlings were in the room mating and looking instinctively for material with which to build a nest.  They seemed to clutch at straws.  I helped them by providing a little pile of grass which I put on the table.  In this way I neglected the people who were with me also in the room, but I was very concerned for the birds, that they should be able to perform their spring functions which they longed so much to do.  Even so, my ‘help’ went only a very little way.  The odds for their breeding and survival were against them, so I was their deceiver. 

They built a nest with whatever they could find, quite desperately. 

I showed this nest to the people I was with in the room.  “Look how round it is getting,” I said. “Look at the inter-weaving of all its strands, as if they were building out of doors in the branch of a tree.  How powerful the instinct is, even when it doesn’t have the right material.”

tree egg '94 j&d11

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This short dream-story is of the series of Watershed Tales in this blog.  You can find others under Categories or Search.  It is about an old Karmically interwoven relationship which failed.

Yet it seems I was not the birds’ deceiver.  Many years later – that same nest is alive and well.  It transformed to a new relationship with life, alive with hope.   Like many young dreams, this one was full of opposite futures and double-entendre.

leprecaun, struggle & egg

My future advises my past.   I felt this, long ago.   She continues to – miraculous and immense.   Time is no time. Life is unlabelled.   Dipping into a study book on Phenomenological Research methods, I found Clark Moustakas’ “Epoche”.

This is interesting, and on cue.   It seems to be what I always aimed towards. “The world … has been cleared of ordinary thought and is present before us as a phenomenon to be gazed upon, to be known naively and freshly through a ‘purified’ consciousness.”

Each morning here, for instance, I trawl my ordinary thoughts of the day before, until the inner Eye lights up and reveals their transmutation: shining fishes.

Hermes with fishing net hauls up old memories and pelican flasks

Hermes with fishing net hauls up old memories and pelican flasks (1989)

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The way of the Alchemist is so. I feel around me softly, the Tetrahedral triads and lines from Nesting Tetrahedrons and The Djinn, as blessing.   However, who am I?

The ultimate Epoche is Self enquiry.   Discussing Epoche, Moustakas (author) goes into (recognisably) Buddhist and Vedanta method without naming so.   He is an academic but (discreetly) on a genuine spiritual path.   Good to tumble on this merger.

Do I cling to Kabbalist Lineage and its identity?   Why?

Empathy triangles

Empathy triangles

 

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I have existential value and truth with Lineage. It is Saturn tempering Mars. It is an ancient skeleton holding a vital heartbeat.   It names and connects the wings of life, and shows me  to ride my bike safely and to live beyond constraint.   It is a Nest woven of all the Traditional twigs in love-knots, placed by the beak of the alighting bird, each a lifetime. But inside it are the unknown cosmic eggs.   The Nest allows the Egg to form and warm.

The paradox is – knowledge of the Traditions with my Un-named Epoche.   The Traditions and This.   The Mother and the quantum chick.   The egg shape solar system: above, below.

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The birds tried to build a nest in an unsuitable place: their doomed love and urgency.  The nesting image is strong today, with the Quark eggs in it – a revolution of all traditions and their hens.   The Light of the World, tender and subtle, throws off dark garments.

pigeons early spring 2

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Jung at about the time he met Idzubar

The Red book
“Man stands between emptiness and fullness. If his strength combines with fullness, it becomes fully formative. There is always something good about such formation. If his strength combines with emptiness, it has a dissolving and destructive effect, since emptiness can never be formed, but only strives to satisfy itself at the cost of fullness. Combined thus, human force turns emptiness into evil.

“If your force shapes fullness, it does so because of its association with fullness. But to ensure that your formation continues to exist, it must remain tied to your strength. Through constant shaping you gradually lose your force, since ultimately all force is associated with the shapeliness that has been given form. Ultimately where you mistakenly imagine that you are rich, you have actually become poor, and you stand amidst your forms like a beggar.

“That is when the blinded man is seized by an increasing desire to give shape to things, since he believes that manifold increased formation will satisfy his desire.   Because he has spent his force, he becomes desirous: he begins to compel others into his service, and takes their force to pursue his own designs.”

C.G.Jung

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There!   Isn’t that what happens with spiritual charisma and inflation?   Materialism … the culture of consumers?

But what is strength? Strength is before formation.

Paths of awakening, and the pillars

Paths of awakening, and the pillars

Jung’s statement above is Kabbalist: Solomon’s pillar of force before formation, in the Tao of Tifareth – soul triad – strength.   This is a kind of labelling, but no more so than musical notes which strike resonances or the song of birds.   It doesn’t pin down the Bird.

Ahhh the phoenix.   So vast an archetype!

phoenix copy from master r

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The culture of consumers threatens the eco system and cliff-hangs the human race.   Even so, I have this deep feeling that it is ephemeral, it is tinsel vulgar, our consciousness suffers to saturation, the juggernaut imbalance.   In years, decades to come, the acute emergency leaves the general landscape but little changed; Gaia prevails.   There are perhaps rougher weather conditions and leaner economies.   Do I remain in the human trough, or do I see over its rim, into the field?

Jacobs ladder - four dovetailed worlds

Jacobs ladder – four dovetailed worlds

The human tapestry is itself, inescapable.   I share a wide angle Kabbalist view, across centuries.   Only the bottom end of Jacobs ladder is generally visible where it rests on Assiyah – the product of the 4 Worlds: the temporary friction and weight of those stepping onto it; their civil wars and disputes and abuse and poverty and grabbings and luxury basements.

But, I once dreamed – (in early Tarot days, about the Emperor) – I saw snow-waters pouring down the sheer mountain face, the great peal of the waters, and humans climbing up it, up and up, fading into the mist … always.

The dimensions veil each other.

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Alpenspitz - a great raw rock mountain in Bavaria

Alpenspitz – a great raw rock mountain in Bavaria

So now. How to live and think and be, as Epoche?

I sat and looked in the dark well water. Phone rang at once – my mother. She is almost 90 – a Leo-Aries. I saw her garden, the flowers at Kilve in Somerset, her sore legs, Edinburgh and everywhere she is, and has been – long natter.

Live inclusively. Open unconditioned to what comes naturally.  Like this …  on Jordan Lake with the bald Eagle – Spirit – circling with its cries (watch the video clip!), and Teala’s little son replying.   Borrow strength!

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granite egg flower

granite egg flower

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Watershed Tale – A Drinking-Glass in the Sea

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drinking glass on sea bed

Many years ago, I dreamed of a drinking-glass in the sea, on the sea-bed, deep down.  It is a “Watershed Tale”, and I was about five months pregnant at the time.

25 January 1977
There was a lone figure – a man – on a beach lit as if by sunset.   He stretched out his arms towards the sea, he was taking part in a ritual.   There were others on the beach.   I loved the pure water of the sea in its strong rough waves, and longed to be in it and of it.   I sat in the sea water, on a rock, with Cathy the little girl from next door.   The water of the tide coming in with bigger and bigger waves, was delicious, cold and pure.   I  didn’t mind getting wet.   The water was beautiful on my body.   The waves were bigger and more powerful, nearly drowning us;  little Cathy was frightened, so I swam the few yards back to shore,   carrying her.   The tide was coming in fast.  

“On the beach I found Cathy had dropped her drinking-glass into the sea.   I didn’t want to lose it, so I ran back and dived into the sea, already deep and surging.   I swam a couple of strokes and then dived under,  right to the bottom. 

“I looked all around.   The water was clear and still beneath the surface surging dangers and turbulence –  I was frightened of those big waves.   First of all I saw something else Cathy had dropped, and brought it up, but it was not the glass,  so I went down again and there, amazingly, was the glass, resting upright on the sands, where I could just reach it with the last breath I had.   So I brought it up triumphantly and to shore.

“Sea –  peace,  austere peace,  like in Beethoven’s quartet Opus 131.”

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I have often thought of this image, and wondered at it, particularly recently.  The glass developed in my interior eye, to an elegant goblet:  but originally it was of green glass, and someone had made it from the bottom of a bottle, filing it smooth around the rim.

green glass and wood flow

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So today I painted it.  It means so many things:  diving into the heart, for one.  The shapely glass is formed from fine sand, from the movement of waves, and by the breath and in fire, it melts and is blown.  How strange, for it to be …  Any human being turned inward, with only a little flower turned outwards, is a bottomless vessel, a drinking glass under the ocean.   I dived for something I lost I think, and I found not that thing, but this, standing on the sandy sea-bed under and in the sea … the outline cannot enclose.

PLEROMA is the empty which is full, and was and is and ever shall be:  the Pleroma where all words fail, you feel it in the heart and in your bones – gnosis:  the gnosis of Carl Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead.

Jung as hermit

Jung as hermit

I have been working on this portrait since the weekend.  I had run out of my usual drawing paper, so I used the darker shade.

I am walking with the Red Book, and with the Seven Sermons to the Dead.  A wonderful edition of the Seven Sermons is available to buy online.  It is called The Gnostic Jung, and it is presented by Stephan A.Hoeller.  When he was a very young man in 1949, on a frozen day in Innsbruck he was lent one of the rare copies then in circulation.  All night long he transcribed and translated it, handing the book back to its owner the following day.

The Jungian Gnosis is a creative conjunction of therapeutic discipline with ancient spirituality, which is far more than the sum of its parts.   It is non-academic.   It activates.   It becomes the MEDICINE of the ages.  It heals.

Alchemy through the Red Sea - 2000

Alchemy through the Red Sea – 2000

Deep down there is always peace.  On the surface, a wild weather or a struggle or a crust.   Inside of a tree is like the sea bed.

Be transparent.

Chronically distressed at human poison on its habitat, these days – do we rush to our extinction?   TV ads, idiocy and smartphone media addictions are that.  They are the ragged holes of the nothing, which ate up the living world in Michael Ende’s “The Never Ending Story”.  So many hold this view – should I add to it?   Or reinforce the sap from inside the Tree, a parallel Reality?   We know so little, and the measuring sciences know even less:  just a few tones on the spectrum.

Be happy, do service, die consciously.

Wood bird Yantra

Wood bird Yantra

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The Septus Sermones began when the dead came back from Jerusalem and haunted Jung’s house and upset his family.  The dead had gone to Jerusalem (in his inner journey) in 1914 to pray at the holy graves, and now they were back, and dissatisfied.  The holy graves of religion did not yield fruit.  In three winter evenings, the Seven Sermons were written.

In the Seven Sermons, Jung united the Christian God with Satan, gnostically:  Abraxas.  Abraxas seems to be the blind Will, as in Schopenhauer, which is both dark and light: the parodox of our growth.  Jung elaborated this theme in 1952, in Answer to Job.  He was already familiar with Gnostic literature, and circulated the black book script of the Sermons in a private publication for friends.  The name of the author, Basilides, “fell unexpectedly into my lap like a ripe fruit at a time of great stress, and has kindled a light of hope and comfort for me in my bad hours.”

This was at the beginning of 1916, and at the same time, Jung sketched the first mandala of his Systema Munditotius;  then painted it, later.   (January 16).

Mandalas are the pattern of time across the tree:  the seabed of the soul;  the instrument of wholeness and of healing;  the guardian.  Jung’s first pencil sketch is a classic interior four-gated Mandala: the key to gnosis. See my earlier post.

Continued in Aquariel: Mandala, Abraxas and Angel

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

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

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Tales of the Watershed – Mrs Mop in the Tower of Babble-On

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Liverpool 8 - Kids & Cathedral 1968

Liverpool 8 – Kids & Cathedral 1968.  THIS POST IS ILLUSTRATED WITH SOME of my photos and notebook sketches when I was at art college there.

This Watershed Tale is dream work.  I used my subconscious free association to explore a type of resonance from childhood which any of us might have;  to furnish in our private way.   My implicit story here, might be a springboard for your own Mystery tale.  Exploring, touching the membrane, released a profound pre-verbal knowledge:  connection to source.   It is a form of Self enquiry.   Self enquiry breaches the dam.   Self enquiry becomes gnosis.

The first part of this tale records my dream in 1976, which is archetypal – about Liverpool.  But from the point where the two sisters gaze down “through a chink” upon the echoing hymn of the Cathedral’s charladies (also in my dream), I refer back to my journal in 1966, which records the hospital in Somerset where I worked, the Xmas show, and Mrs Woman, in precise detail.  From this factual basis, the dream takes charge again, with the seedpod in my finger, and returns to the two sisters, and to a metaphysical breakthrough and meditation.   The finale – the rising waters of Babylon – completed the dream itself.

Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, during my year at art school next door in Hope Street, was my muse, my vessel of feeling and of God – I was agnostic and 18.   It is a vast and spunky building.  Liverpool is a pool of life.   Jung visited Liverpool in his Memories, Dreams, Reflections  …

In the 1960s, large swathes of Liverpool 8 were not yet reclaimed from bomb damage.   Those flowers in my dream, grew up in the bomb site, with the castaway graves.

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Liverpool 8 - Cathedral & Hope Street 1968

Liverpool 8 – Cathedral & Hope Street 1968

Dreams No 237   17 March 1976

MANY OF the houses and squares of Liverpool Eight have gone.

Those great spaces where bombs fell, where the rubble of people’s lives has been cleared away, are now fresh planted gardens of flowers in which yew and other dark trees grow.   From the open trench of its own excavation site soars skyward a weathered half century of pinkish stone; the Anglican Cathedral.   This grave never got filled in.   The Cathedral stands in its own workshop.   It isn’t even yet finished.

I remember the rotting gravestones of those who built with their battles of faith this tower.   They were slabs piled up, they were torn out of the ground and thrown into the mouldering dark bushes with the discarded bottles of the drunk, like dead playing cards.   The medieval King, Queen, Knight and Knave for a rosy crusade have no place in the modern world.   Uprooted on the undergrowth lie their epitaphs.  Heavy lies their argot in the discolouring rains of the centuries, forgotten is the “art gothique” – replaced by the indomitable resonance of this tower – forgotten like the bombed out slums of this city, whose sweat and vitals flowed on the Irish tongue, whose sailors of old came in from the sea and spread a dusky lichen of Lascar fever on the ground.   Silenced are the voices in the tomb, silenced the fighting,  the drinking and the masonry, the beds which sagged under whole families, the cats which ran around chimney-pots  –  silenced,  to the rainbow arc of a new Babel.

Nobody wants the old graves, or the obsolescence of their tears.   They’ve been swept out, like the old slums.   The human graveyard is now a public garden where people may sit, walk and push their babies.   And God gathers all the nameless masons of the graves, He gathers together the scuffed and blurred chisel of their writing in the open stone quarry, and points that finger, bluntly, back to the sky.   Perhaps God is the maker of rain, of a new lichen of flowers upon soil of fertile carnage.

* *

 I took my sister to see the flowers.   We scrambled down a bank into the far corner of the trench to approach the base of the Cathedral tower, and look up it.   The trench is now a garden.   The deep warm spring colours of crocus points, and of daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops, with ragged robin, are the carpet that we tread.   I am clumsy – so frightened of crushing them.   They pulse up everywhere in the grass underfoot.   She’s the nimble one, not I;   I trod most gingerly, and cried,  I slipped everywhere in the riot, too sensitive, of colour, the heavy glow of petals in the long grass.   Among all souls, the Cathedral, one giant phallic column, sits upon the navel of the church.   Red-brown brick and stone, it soars roseate to all of the weathers, an anachronistic apostle for this pool of life, this century to inherit.   They are still excavating it from the earth;  a part of it here is grey like a great rock being carved by the sea.

 “Come inside,” I said to her, when we came close, over the banks of flowers.   “come and see the great space inside the tower.”   So we pushed open the heavy door in the wide dark arch at the tower’s base, and entered.

But the interior has changed.   They’ve completed the rear end of the nave from inside.   They’ve put in a false floor of pews midway between vault and pavement, extending over the entire length and breadth.   Gone is the uplifting, uninterrupted fall of resonant space within.   It is cluttered now with construct, with frameworks for theology’s cradle like any stifling church, and I could weep.   We had to walk all along this false floor.  At its furthest end I found a chink in it where some planks had not yet been laid.   “Come over here, come and see!”

1954 bedtime

We squatted on the floor, held onto a joist of unvarnished wood and looked down through the opening.   So far below is the real altar, it makes us dizzy.   And up to us drifts sound, as from a choir.

“Be careful,” she said   “Those aren’t vicars down there, they are buckets and brooms to clean the church!   Can you hear them?    What a heavenly hymn they make!”

“Before they built all this clutter,”  I told her  “you could come in here and hear the organ being tuned.  The deepest notes don’t sound, they rumble ‘till they’re no longer outside but inside you,   you are the pipe,  the vibration itself going out again from here  like a great ripple.    Hey – that fat lady down there sitting on the altar steps to give her feet a rest?   Lena Hill, at the Musgrove hospital back home,  black plimsolls with holes in them for her toes – it IS her! –  what’s she doing in Liverpool?   I bet her ‘usband is still Christmas shopping in Taunton with his flopsy …”

thistle & flowers

We listened.   We did begin to hear individual voices in the ascending celestial cadence.   They echo a place in our past…   “… but I punched the clock 7.30 this morning, you saw me didn’t yer love,  so the Supervisor can go stuff his own nose it’s me elevenses now …”    “… run ring-a-rosies round ‘im she did …”   “Ooh give us a break.   Where’s me fags?   Come on love,  the Reck room won’t clean itself you know –  such pigs they are,  pigs …”

These charwomen don’t sound very Liverpudlian,  they could be in the West country or anywhere at all.   The roar of a floor polisher somewhere blends them.   “I remember Mrs Hill,”  said my sister.   “When Dr Cameron came to tea, he had some stories about her as well.   It was when you were charring at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton where I had my bad leg.    The “wee one-eyed Scottish doctor laddie”  wasn’t very good at exams was he?   He wanted to be a real GP to the crofters in the Highlands with a shepherd crook and those awfu’  black boots  –  he was so romantic.   He didn’t want any of this hospital nonsense.   Anyway, he knew Mrs Hill, didn’t he?”

“Everyone knew Mrs Hill.   The student nurses called her Mrs Woman because of her ‘usband.   I thought she was fabulous, she showed me the ropes and talked about life, but I couldn’t blame her ‘usband really, she never took a bath.   After we’d cleaned up the Nurses recreation room for about a week, she stank so I couldn’t stand it.   But  – do you remember Dr Cameron’s dancing pumps for the Christmas theatricals?”

“Not the ones he went a-shepherding with?”

“Yes, the ones he left behind in our house.”

“They were covered with mud!   What did they say when you took them to the hospital?   Wasn’t he an actor?”

“Well they were going to do Swan Lake in the Reck room for the Christmas party.  They couldn’t find enough white-coats for the dancers, so they decided to put on something a bit easier, you know what they get up to in hospitals.   I put the boots in a paper bag addressed to Dr C Cameron, Kiddies Korner,  because he was interning in Obstetrics.   Mrs Woman took it up to the Labour Suite and left it right by where he scrubs up.   He was only a Junior Wee.   Why did he start coming to tea with us, didn’t he play the flute or something?    He only had one eye, the other winked and watered …”

“He came to tea to chase the sheep with his viola and his crookie.   What sort of a doctor do you think he made?”

“God knows.  Oh look –  down there.   On the altar, see.   Something’s starting to happen.”

In theatre they’ve rigged up a waste paper basket on stage.  A giant papier-mache snake uncoils out of it in mid-charm, wrapped in a lady’s stocking.   Next to the snake the wide bottom of Mrs Woman polishes the stage for the festivities.   Tousled in her dirty flowery overall, and aglow with the stage lights, she rests upon her mop, complains vociferously about her Supervisor, and all the little theatre nurses applaud her.   Two surgeons on stage, who are not Junior Wees but Senior Registrars, have fiddled with the lights and props.   The bulk of Mrs Woman is now thrown into high relief.   Her own stockings are defeated by the girth of her thighs, she wears them rolled at the knee and undresses her marriage for everyone.   The snake in the basket nodded gravely, for the items of the Christmas show ranged from striptease to Socrates.   The bed she lay in was made by the ancillary nurses  – “You don’t need any training for that,”  announced all the cleaning-angels to heaven.

The show was a dreadful flop because of a bust curtain right at the beginning, but all the students received free sausage rolls and mince pies at the Interval, with the Supervisor’s compliments, and someone gave Mrs Woman a cigar for her trouble.   She left her bucket and mop where they were, cut her cigar in half, and shared it with me backstage.   We squatted side by side in a sort of tent between the curtains so the Supervisor couldn’t see us for dust, and the smoke was good and dark.

“I don’t know what they’ve done to me back,”  Mrs Woman went on   “and me ankles won’t stand for it.   You could be an ancillary nurse yerself, you know.   They’re ‘aving an epidemic up there in the Maternity ward, and they need all the ‘elp they can get, it’s better than going around every day on all fours,  look at me, why don’t you try it love,  you’re only seventeen, you shouldn’t be scrubbing floors at your age you should be enjoying yourself.   ‘Ave a word with Mrs Jeffreys.   She’s the Supervisor up there.   When she’s ‘ad a glass or two she’s alright, didjer just see her red face?   Now’s a good moment to get her.   Say I sent you.   But if you see Sidney on the way upstairs,  ‘e pushes the trolley, that dirty old swine, don’t let ‘im getyer under the mistletoe, ‘e’s always trying it on.   “I’ll tell your Supervisor about you,” he says when ‘e catches me   “I’ll tell her what time you clocked in today if you don’t give us a kiss.’   ‘ ‘Oo cares about my Soopervisor?’  I says.   ‘My Soopervisor can go jump in a bucket.   The Xmas shopping doesn’t get done by itself yer know, 2,000 years I been ‘ere nearly, cleaning up after you lot,  and nobody tells me any more when I clock in and when I clock out or whether I should do it meself at all.   I’ll give you Soopervisors!   You can take ‘er on if yer want a punch on the nose from me, and I’m going out now to do me shopping, I don’t care about Soopervisors, and if I see my ‘usband’s flopsy out there in the High Street I’ll trip ‘er up with the greatest of pleasure an’ a ‘appy New Year to you, five kids I’ve ‘ad, thirty years of marriage, thirty years, look at what I’ve suffered.   And I’m not getting no joy out of the inland revenoo for it neither, married or not, they sew it up nicely for themselves, we’re always the losers, we always were.   You enjoying your cigar?   Hey, you’re just not with me this morning, are you love, the morning after the show’s never so bright is it,  ‘oo’s your little friend with the white coat then?   Wasn’t he a cygnet in them bally-dance pumps?   They orter teach ‘im to dance a bit better,  ‘e was all over me floor, ouch –  me back’s killing me when all’s said and done,  thirty years,  thirty years of  …”

liverpool sketches 9, shopper

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But in those days when I was seventeen, I also read the works of Leo Tolstoy.   The ambiance of Anna and Vronsky through Mrs Woman’s flowery overall, made it smell rather over-ripe.   I drifted away from her to wonder about human life, the littleness of human lichen upon the altar of trans-substantiation.   I saw a synchronicity of fire and water,  the miracle,  the enigma of consciousness.   What did Anna and Vronsky see in each other glowing, who did they see?

These thoughts nourished me while I helped clean hospitals for pocket money and heard the problems of Mrs Woman,   So Anna K fell under a train!  the charwomen leaned on their mops, it made their day.

liverpool cathedral 1

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Something hurt in my finger.   It was a greenfly.   It had burrowed into my finger from some flower or other, and eaten its way up along the bone for the last couple of days, and was now a severe pain.   I squeezed and stretched the flesh till the wound opened and out popped the parasite.   It was brown and dry, and it had burst open like a seedcase in autumn.   I ascended like a spider the echoing threads of the chorus around the altar, to the heavenly floor above.   On the new floorboards by the gap, I found my sister still waiting.   The medical drama became a whisper again, a ripple from my adolescence in the deep of time and space.

My sister is now a small plump child in kindergarten.   She has to stay there as a boarder because our parents live away in a different part of the country.   This was my school also.   I waited by the staff room.   I didn’t know whether to address all my former teachers – some of them friendly, some menacing – by their surnames or their Christian names, because I didn’t know how old I was.   Such untidy ignorance embitters and distresses me.   I thought I had left school and grown up, but I haven’t, because I’m here again as a day pupil, with a message for her –  a message from our mother, who is not in Yorkshire any more.   But she didn’t want it.   She is crying, she is very upset about something;   I tore or defaced the letter before I gave it to her, and now neither of us can read it.   She is not interested anyway.   She is too small a child to be burdened with things she can’t understand;  like reading;  like being made to swim so deep a sea.

Something now is happening, something new.   Within her visibly I sense an unknown sister … our other sister, who was born to die.  A speechless sorrow surfaces.   The child’s name before she died at birth, was Bridie.   My father gave her name, Bridie in her Bravery, to the red-pink campion flowers that dance hardy in all weathers by the roadside.

In this moment, time has stopped;   to touch a child unknown, belonging to, and intimate with us, who lives in all the flowers.

Something from her reaches into my silence, to be heard.  She was too small to be burdened with the school of life, where her mother never held her, where they took her away to die.   I maybe looked for her since I was four years old, when my mother could not talk to me of her grief.   Did I draw all those babies at that time for my mother?  That is possible.   There is something children are not supposed or allowed to know;  a gulf that parents and children cannot bridge to each other.  Something was not enough wanted …   something still alive, but deep in the sea, an awareness received and felt, before the enclosures of our language came.

There are transpersonal meetings with the dead, quite outside the fabric of our years.   They arise afresh,  and do not have our words.

I think we know less about ourselves than monkeys do.   We can connect through any time and in any space, by our willingness being open, being quiet;  but it does not speak the way we are taught at school.

300px-Wildflowers_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473362

300px-Wildflowers_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473362

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False floors were built for this, a theologists’ heaven in Liverpool’s Tower of Babble-On.  They are filled with rows of pews like desks – a Sunday school, a crammer of dogma for gnostic children.  They immaculate the birth on earth of God.   They confine the babel of His babble to a totalitarian grammar,  meek and mild.

See sisters straying onto this hymenal heaven with their lost sibling.   They are genuine heretics.   What are they doing there?

They found a small rent in the mourning weeds of original sin.   Lost to theology, they look down through the gap in wonder, to where each and every life babbles regardless, deep in the soul.   A kingdom in a shared memory is theirs to share again.  Mrs Woman of the vintage guild of Mops gets someone else to do her clocking in.   A Scottish houseman in his peaked cloth cap, one eye bright brown,  the other a watery wink, romances the ewes on his days off duty.   The little girls see the eternal serpent of knowledge dressed up in a Christmas stocking.   They see the distribution of the Eucharist from Mrs Woman’s operation, with the innocence condemned by centuries of Church Supervision.

Inside the church they see a hospital.   Inside the hospital is a theatre.   Inside a theatre are the needs of the flock, and a rood-screen or curtain of the tabernacle.   Children of Israel floated their Arc of Covenant on the sea of their wanderings.   They birthed the medieval Mystery plays.   Shell after shell opens, like a babushka doll, in Mother Russia.

Our tower to heaven has around it a moat of flowers.   They were planted with a rain of grief for the ones who fell under doctrinal dispute, for those who were born and forgotten ;  and for the chorus walking hidden on earth, which jests, which births its own responses through the maidenhead, and which the pulpit extinguishes if it can.

Rest in Peace!    Chinks in the dogma allow stray odours of life to bloom, like flowers through a paving stone.

liverpool sketches 18 tower on hill..

In Faulkner Square 1968

In Faulkner Square 1968

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And I seem to have stumbled in the radiance of those flowers outside, their vulnerable upthrust, because the next awareness in my dream is of water, the waters of earth which have risen through the soul,  which earth can no longer contain.    By the waters of Babylon we sat, and wept.   A stormy channel divided us from land for whose tender shores we yearned.

So near, so far, and in so deep a sea did you and I swim, we could be nowhere else, for it carried us further and further out and into itself.   Whatever happened to us, was in its hand.   I was sure we would reach the other shore if we swam, and that was that.    In the turbulent tossing sea between dark and light, day and night, I shouted, I loved the waves which swept me up and down, trod buoyancy over unimaginable depth.   Then I put my head down to swim, as you must do, and the lift and surge of the ocean waves increased.   Greater and greater they grew, then a wave broke over, submerging me.

And I struggled, strove against drowning, to become a fish, to awaken by two, by two …  upon the Ark of Noah,  to light.

Cornwall 2011

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**

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

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

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Tales from the Watershed – Enoch and the Well

This vivid dream, in 1976, revealed an interior contact, as it deftly stripped away the veils.   It is the source of my symbolism with the well, the wood and the root;  insights which I find also in the I Ching.  “He” gave me later in the narrative, a teaching on the cosmic Law of Sacrifice, which I woke up with, and never forgot.

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The Wisdom of the Fool by a Well (1988)

The Wisdom of the Fool by a Well (1988)

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 Dreams No.140,  14 July 1975

I’m speaking with someone called Enoch.   At a round table we sit, initially with some other counsellors.  At other times a car drives around the area under discussion, these wild orchards.

The name Enoch carries an emphasis from Biblical hinterland.   It is perhaps a collective name for elements of humanity, which conquered death.   But this man is called Enoch Powell – the politician who has strong views on immigration.

politics-conservative-party-conference e.powell

When people or birds – and cats! –  seek entry into a patch of land which is already occupied by others, they are immigrants.   To emigrate is to depart these shores, but as an immigrant you are an invasion to me, until we agree.   Indeed, England’s island history is tempered by issues of invasion and conquest.  Then this discussion around a table, with a view to a patch of land, is about space – the interior space, the balance of fluidic densities between neighbouring cells.   “What do we accommodate?”  “Are we idealists?  Shouldn’t we be more honest with our limitation?”

For a moment now, I see on the curling mossy boughs of the old orchard trees, heavy fruit rosy and golden, the way it pulps down into deep dewy grass as the summer cools.

The political stance on immigration lies at the heart of Enoch’s private nature.   It is where he is vulnerable.   It makes me feel important to be seen with this eminent and public figure.   Enoch is a powerful man with sharp pale eyes and pencil line moustache.  His physiognomy is gaunt and open, his wide jaw reminds me of a vigilant mastiff or lion.   His manner of speech,  impassioned, informed and forceful, is difficult to ignore.

Is he wearing cosmetics?  –  yes he is!   I kept looking, to make sure.   He has black eye-liner traced under his eyes like a sign of his feminine nature.   Yes, for he protests about history and about national rape.    The black eyeliner, a feminine contrivance for emphasis, is a chink of doubt in his intellectual armour.   I think I see his Achilles heel,  his secret fear of losing substance or integrity.   We are being driven around the outskirts of Buckingham Palace grounds, and the topic under sustained discussion is:  “What shall we do with this green-space?”

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bluebell time at broomlands

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“I don’t agree with you there one bit.”   That’s the lively Liberal dark haired lady from ‘Islington Cares’.   “People should go where they like.   We all can go wherever we like, and feel the need.   Young people from the inner-city should play in these wonderful grounds, our national heritage.   It’s criminal to hide them away from the under-privileged.   Would you deprive our youth for the sake of an out-moded institution?   Who needs the space to grow –  the Royals or the people?”

“Madam,”  replied Enoch  “we were discussing private property.  Would you like your house to be broken into and occupied by squatters?”

“That’s not the point!   Buck House isn’t private, it belongs to the nation.   What hypocrisy forces the tax payer to support a public institution – our sovereign Family as you put it – and have no access to the – the sanctuary this family enjoys,  on the grounds of –  privacy?”

“We cannot afford to indulge in politics,” said Enoch.  “I’m not concerned with liberal philosophy but with human values – the real values, if you hear what I say.   With reality, madam! –  our  bastion of integrity.   The monarchy represents to ourselves this value, and therefore the need for its own terrain.   Apart from that, think of the pressure of public life upon these people.   Think of the personal sacrifice they make of their private lives to the postage stamp,  to the symbol of moral stability in this country,  look at it, I beg you!   Doesn’t it cry out to you for the human right – to a place of refreshment?

“You are not realistic, madam.   Do you advocate rape – of our national heritage, the remaining legacy of poets and sailors?   Will you allow burglars and opportunists to despoil and pollute this place?   Have you no heart?”

“My dear Enoch, you must move with the times, we are not discussing nasty criminals but young people – the birth rate.   Have you no heart for the nation’s young,  its children,  and the problems of the inner cities?   This is the young orchard.   And it has no room to grow!”

“Madam, our cities are overcrowded through our poor judgment of the ratio of population density to available land area.   That is why I spoke out against opening our doors to the incoming tide of our Imperial guilt.   Did we treat our immigrants well?   Have we accomodated them humanely?   Look within and ask yourself.   Did they come off the Windrush to a warm welcome, or to a bigoted colour bar?   Did we keep Hitler out,  to let ourselves be conquered by hypocrites’ oath to a swollen Commonwealth?   The sins of our fathers indeed come back to find us.  But I beg you again,  let us protect the soul of our country from further rotting.   The wilderness which lies within the heart …”

“Oh,” said the romantic dark-haired lady  “yes, in olden days everybody had some wilderness to wander, and even some mystical feudal superstition to keep them busy, but today it’s the young, those young people from all the big cities whom you would deprive of the right to leave the streets and take solace in Nature.   Who else has the right to see the laden fruit in those orchards, to walk along the shady paths?   But Enoch, your party and policy is no longer in power.   Times have changed.   An act will be passed …”

Enoch’s face is dark with grief.   “If you do that,”  he says  “there will be nowhere for anyone to go to.   There’ll be no place of such nature left.”

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Queen with child, 1956

Queen with child, 1956

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The grounds of the palace, are enclosed by high and weathered walls.   Within this boundary extends a sylvan oasis of landscaped gardens, and un-mown meadows. Through the woodlands, birds call –  a place of rest and mystery in the heart of the city.   The rougher and more untamed regions are the area under discussion;  here are gathered, in a shaggy garland of luxuriant wild orchards opening one into another, many old trees that slant hither and thither in haphazard rows.   They bear apples, pears, cherries and plums, self-pruning.   Around their knotty trunks grows a profusion of deep sorrel, buttercup, pink campion, royal blue scabious and thorny briar rose;  and foxes trace a magical maze.   Here the butterfly flourishes.   It is a fragrant and secret garden.   It hums with near and distant song and silence.

This is the soul which Enoch feels belongs to us all,  and should therefore be kept inviolate,  and which the liberal dark haired lady feels,  for the same reason,  should be open to the public.

At first I thought she was right.  Enoch’s immigration policy was never popular.   People should come and go,  nibble the fruit in these orchards,  sit and dream or have sex in the natural arbours,  sniff the thorny roses and spot Royals.   Anyone should be able to go there,  to go where they like.

Enoch’s personal distress became real to me.   The domain where time stands still is a reality within each one of us, which is not easy to access.   Here we grow and breathe among the tangled web of our fruit,  our convoluted petalled fragrance of the wild rose;  and only those should enter who are invited.    For it flowers and opens, from a dark and winding stem of thorns.   The pathway among radiant trees and flowers is a briary labyrinth in which the foolish or unwary,  or mere litter-spilling sight seers, get lost,  stolen or strayed.

Should we crowd that end of the enclosure?   It is the private part.   The liberal plan parades a crude ideology.

Enoch noticed that I’m turning from the eloquent dark haired woman to him to listen.   My ambivalent point of view seems to interest him, but there is nothing I can yet say.   She crowds me out.   She talks all the time, there is much, much that I feel and would like to say, the pressure from my heart like unripe fruit on the bough,  I feel for him,  I want to tell him this but not to gush or take sides,  and I don’t know how.  So I am silent.

As I understand it, Enoch would suffer in himself so acute an unhappiness if the Act were passed in the palace grounds, particularly the sacred area of orchard growth, that as in Blake’s “Elegy”: –  “O Rose, thou art sick;  the invisible worm that flies in the night in the howling storm,  has found out thy bed of crimson joy:   and his dark secret love does thy life destroy!” – he too would sicken and die.

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roots at broomlands

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It is to do with guardng the fertile and sacred wood.   Wood and water work together into the fourth dimension as an osmotic cycle.   The welling growth from under the ground to the warm rays of the sun, along a series of neighbouring fluidic densities, is a series also of changing texture in time – through the tender pliability of young stems to the rigid oak,  and what the old tree returns to earth from the sky.   This is the “now” in a river’s movement of many centuries.

In matriarchal land husbandry, the kings must die, and their seed as generations rise and fall;  but the wood is the terrain of life,  the concentric rings of time,  the uplift and downfall of the waters.   In the wood is drawn the Akashic record for all seasons. This is one of the closely guarded mysteries.  A druid, to her nature true, may approach the power and knowledge which lies hidden in the tree, wisely, and with love.

Then Enoch is a guardian.   Only those may walk in nature’s temple who earned or inherited, by their effort, the right. The wood and the water are a well – the deeply sunk root to the high, flowering branch.   Wood and water well an oasis in the mental life.   Our rulers are an elected sense of purpose, but also a private source of refreshment.   How hungry we are for the gutter press, their domestic difficulties.   And when so much is cut down, so much is given out,  how essential is retreat,  for them:  and for ourselves.

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mary queen of scots exiled from france, on a ship - 1957

mary queen of scots exiled from france, on a ship – 1957

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Enoch may be Powell, the unpopular and forceful politician who cares more for principles than for votes,  but who and what else is he?    He asserts an individuated view.   He is  a rugged individual.   He is any individual in any time or climate of everyman who, when over-run with the mere ideas of others,  dies.   The politician is a mask of convenience for a messenger.

The Person behind the mask is universal. “I am.”  How much of this commodity is sacrificed to the mask?  for the sake of being “available”?

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goddess with swan - 1956, copy from Leonardo

goddess with swan – 1956, copy from Leonardo

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Our dialogue has now become an intimate one.

“I have myself studied sacrifice,” he told me.   “I made, over long periods of time, very many years, a special depth study of all shapes and forms of sacrifice.   When my interest was anthropological, I was drawn to consider first the primitive form,  the votive offering of animal vigour from within the tribe to heaven,  to protect the tribe.   The more valuable the victim from the physical world, the more it focused the source of protection and strength.   Adonai takes the first of the fruit and gives back Himself.  This is psychology.

“You can see then a rate of exchange,  a currency.   It is the equilibrating of fluidic density from one plant cell or dimension of our universe, to another.   See what comes back in faith.   You can see the human victims on Mayan pyramids, the sheep and goats of the Hebrews, the bulls of the ancient Greeks,  and the bodies of early Christian martyrs.   Now, how would you yourself define sacrifice?”

“I think,” I said rather stiffly after a while, straining to hold his attention to my empathy and not wake up in my bed –  “that it is the gift.   I think the sacrifice transfers my attachment to earthly opinion.  It goes to a higher and more subtle sense of gravity.”

“Then,” he said  “you are the chosen container of your sacrifice.   To sacrifice is to give faith to the laws of renewal within you.   It is the offering to the Universal, what I, or you, have earned, and the willingness to change station in consciousness.  Each living heart contains a mystery, which should be guarded – the ability or willingness to do just that.   This element alone is taken alive to heaven.

“In the law of reincarnation, the Tree grows up to heaven and descends as fruit, as seed.  Each leaf put forth from the stem, the woody capillary, is unique.  The seasons are the fountain’s rise and fall:  the tidal breath of Adonai.

“In some forms of sacrifice, a pleasing fragrance is burned from the entrails of animal power and pride, to favour the ruling forces of Nature and persuade their alignment to a human cause.   In the Iliad the gods themselves sat down to feast with the heroes.   But in other forms of sacrifice a Man falls from heaven to earth like an apple to enrich the ground plan.   This, like golden leaf-fall, or treasure from the tree of life,  is the Messiah.   He ‘falls’ into the autumn of each year or cycle of human history, to teach it.

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sleep - 1987

sleep – 1987

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“And,” he went on,  “sacrifice is the slow and welling growth of new wood from the old.   Sacrifice metamorphs the butterfly from chrysalis, the snake of wisdom from many essential skins of ignorance.    Sacrifice is metanoia – the turning – of self’s wisdom from the personality’s temporary possession.

“This is difficult for you to understand and for me to tell.   It is not ordained by a limited mind like ours.  We touch on matters, which the transcendent plane inverts.   To sacrifice, or give away what we have,  is to receive it,  is to be the receiver.   To die is to be born.   To live in light, I cast away concentric rings of the darkness which defines me.

“I have studied these things so deeply, over so great an epoch of time, have given so much of my attention to this independent science,  one body after another,  that if I chose, they could make me a Doctor and put me out to grass.   That would be a solution to the political problem, wouldn’t it?   But in fact, so much have I suffered for the royal art, so much outgrown, sometimes prematurely given away, or died to, that I came to cherish a little too fiercely the remnant I have left.   This is the hardest part of all.   I should have hung onto the old witch-doctor, to salve these old scars on my stem of life;  my devotions and denials.

“Do you understand?   That place where the fruit trees are – is one that I WON’T give up.   It is my childhood.   It is sacred to me.”

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A fairy godmother, 1957

A fairy godmother, 1957

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Enoch Powell is still wearing cosmetic eye-liner with a curious consistency.   Perhaps this is so as to underline his point of view.

“It is very good,”  he says in his former voice “and very necessary to study an independent science.   But do not let the philanthropic philosophy philander you.”

His skin is brown and tanned by the sun in the gap between his trousers and jersey, his hair is black,  he emits to me a masculine vibrancy and seems to be turning into someone else.

Enoch is the collective name of an ancient gesture:   “he who walked with the Lord and he was not:  for the Lord took him.”   His thoughts on sacrifice are like looking into a well of water.   Everything is upside down.   I look down into the well and see, around my reflected shadow limned in light in the quiver of still water, the sky above.   What is above is in the depths of the earth.

The Hanged Man in the twelfth Tarot Arcanum hangs by the left foot smiling, from a wooden crosspiece over the well.   Why?

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12 hanged man - Version 3

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Who is in the well?   We look up into each other. You returned to earth head first,  to give it fruit,  to be born to die. I can see my earth-brown shadow, deep in the well of life, but not the features, against the light.

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With hindsight, I find the political awareness in this story interesting, pre-dating the decades of Margaret Thatcher’s market-forces policy, the Wales marriage, Prince Charles’s global network with the ecological and humanitarian emergency, the social turmoil, consumerist inflation and collapse.

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Dancing goddess, on the Heath Extension

Dancing goddess, on the Heath Extension

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**

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

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

aquariel link

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

 

Bumping into the Light

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Buddha wheel at Kettles Yard

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A week ago I had a bad fall from my new bike.  Riding happily down a leafy country lane quite fast, I didn’t see the drift of loose sand and gravel across it until too late;  I crashed from a great height, like Humpty Dumpty and my right leg is still developing the story in fantastic technicolour!   When I got home, I applied arnica, St Johns Wort oil for haemorrhoids (? which I don’t have, thanks God), and ice to the enormous bump and grazes, with good effect.  I cannot resist quoting from this consoling email which arrived soon after, from Uncle Apothecary’s Garden across the pond:

“Ahhh   The drama of life!!   Poor new bike!!  Haha. Yes. Poor you of course!!  I am happy your body wasn’t too badly banged up, and so glad I could help it heal in some way!! Ouch!  Maybe it should be called something instead of hemorrhoid oil? Humpty Dumpty oil? Puts things back the way they were.  Reversing oil?  That St. John’s Wort oil is something isn’t it? PutitbackthewayitwasOil? Even without my help, it seems to make all sorts of repairs on its own. 

“A three wheeler for you ?  … Maybe life just thought you needed to get up close and personal with Nature? Too much putting up of feet in a retired person kind of way. No retirement for us, Jane.   D.” 

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Life

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I was terrified lest my beloved Bike was irreparably damaged by my misadventure …  But it suffered little more than a scratch – basically – and thanks to the marvellous Oil of Life, we are riding around again, just as before.

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What is the provide-ence?  Why indeed is Humpty Dumpty egg-0 shaped?   And what did I actually bump into?

I haven’t room here to describe the carnival of rugged rocks, revelations, pesterings and personalities that rose and fell during the week;  but I did wonder what underlying current of ‘the teaching‘ I might retrieve.  And each morning I studied, and wrote my diary:

15 June – ON SOUND AND COLOUR

Paul Foster Case writes:  “Blue-violet, A-natural, is the tone-frequency of Saturn:  the power in us which puts on the brakes.   Sacral plexus, base of the spine.  Excretion of waste:  transmission of life/regeneration.   Skin, knees, ankles, kidneys, lumbar spine, vasomotor system (blood?), bones.  Kundalini is the storage-battery.  It is charged with the residual energy left over from the various body functions.”

This is rather a wonderful thing to reflect on!   Having a tough time with the material world, and discussing with my Aries friend how the lungs work (he like most of us, didn’t know they are like seaweed floating up and down in water, the alveoli, the delicate little expanding sacs inviting air, many of which feel crushed by the pain of his cracked rib, and recovery is delayed by smoking.  So now he goes SWIMMING.)

Right now, I sense the miracle of this residual energy from the body functions.   What keeps the body functioning is cosmic;  the physical body in balance is cosmic;  the Kundalini when available, is awesome and eternal.

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Serpent of Light - and Ibis - detail from Hermes Trismegistos 2003

Serpent of Light – and Ibis – detail from Hermes Trismegistos 2003

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In my inner eye, I catch sight – as if through a door – of the living, wonderful Snake of Light;  the extraordinary manifestation of what we actually are … and the living mass of trillions of individual cells like stars in water.  In outer space you might travel at 10,000 miles an hour, yet feel you are standing still, because there is no air to resist you.  In the interior body-cosmos, we are 80% water, and this, as made of atoms, is 99% empty space.   Everything I am, flows seamlessly through itself.

And simultaneously I have hard heads, bodies, legs, and a complex of interior organs; and I bump, and I have a great fall, and I get embarrassed, and I have one brittle worry after another to believe fervently in;  and I try to cope with life!   What is Real?  What of all those tossed up egg-shells?

tetrahedral cube 93 copy

In a dome the size of St Peter’s in Rome, if a nucleus were a single grain of salt, the positions of electrons would be a few specks of dust – they whirl through the great chamber of space.  They are not objects but waves enwrapping the salt grain.  Salt crystallizes to the cube, the basic structure of all matter.  The cube’s six points when circumscribed reveal the Seal of Solomon or sphere.  The lines extended from the equilateral tetrahedrons form the web of our world.  Upon this subatomic lattice the electronic paths come into being.

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Portrait of Annika with lion: Tarot Key 8 - soul Strength

Portrait of Annika with lion: Tarot Key 8 – soul Strength

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And now I have the Snake of Light.   The Stellar power manifests through my body’s organs, and if they are all using it and working well enough, what is left over is the Serpent.   It bursts the box.   The Serpent spoke to Eve, and she told Adam and said, Taste the fruit!

Adam & Eve detail

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Imagination beholds the Serpent, as alive as in all the revelations of Alchemy and Yoga.   It is fiery, with gleams of gold and red, and permeated with white light;  and it is a loopy dragon.   It brings no rush to my system, but to see it is peacefully liberating … the deep inner chamber, the realisation that I am the stars.  The realisation itself coils and is the DNA.   The mercury mind abandons any attempt to spell the countless codes.   None of that is necessary when I see Great Hermes in principle.   I see him now as in my painting.   Calm and still, and just perceived;  but luminous.   Clarity of thought.

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Hermes Trismegistos of Alexandria, with Staff of Life and Serpent of Light

Hermes Trismegistos of Alexandria, with Staff of Life and Serpent of Light

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Last week was “one bloody thing after another” as Mr Gurdjieff used to say.  Dealing with non-deliveries and bureacratic fluff, was particularly frustrating.  While battered from crashing my bike – the invisible wall of life – I did a post on Aurobindo’s Savitri, and in the other blog, I did two on Master R.  Light relief !

At the same time, a local  “harassment” issue arose, in which I took an interest:  and a neighbour’s abuse of strong painkillers.  I feel I am shown, not to deny any situation or challenge, but to learn to remain detached enough during it, to receive the bigger picture.  It’s not easy.  Keep practicing!

When I started to write about the Serpent of Light this morning, I remembered the addicted neighbour, and realised our human plight in its extremity:  the abysmal ignorance about our bodies.  Unconsciously, we regard them as punch-bags of perished putty – thus the  cosmetic advertising.  Do I really live in my body?   mostly I daydream along, somewhere outside it.  Unconsciously the body is an enemy, ready to spring cancer and limitation into the movie-go-round.  The neighbour … she is wasted.  She says “I want a high.”

In Kabbalah, Malkuth of the Tree is the Kingdom, the field, the root of Kether:  the embodied Conscious will.  We have the free will simply to remember this, whenever we can:  remember the conscious breath.  In my view, the free will accepts and flows with the Will which is cosmic:  the river in every organ.   When I am awake, my body is the earth … Gaia.

Some souls – like the neighbour – have so deeply self-harmed that they live beyond repair.   Whatever her GP gives her, she abuses and uses up.   Couldn’t he prescribe her an antidote?  But nothing stops the self destruction of the living dead, until they turn and begin to climb out of the pit.   Whatever an outsider may do for the sufferer, is turned to abuse.  It is like a quicksand.

That soul takes responsibility, to become human, to become embodied;  to respect life.   Everything we are is a condensation of what we chose upstream in this or other lifetimes :  and the faculty to make a small but fundamental choice of direction, is an individual one.   It is also in human nature to “hit rock” first.

And I dreamed someone allowed himself to drown without regret in the leaden-grey sea:  was this my Shadow?  Or an opting out – a runaway, a suicide?    The same Life remains, wherever it is left … the same problem to deal with.

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Malkuth garden and forest, with the Moon in Capricorn - from a tree of life painting for Chris Stavri

Virgo Malkuth garden and forest, with the Moon in Capricorn – from a tree of life painting for Christopher Stavri

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Paul Foster Case writes: “The right direction and sublimation of the coiled up serpent power, is the major operation of the work of Yoga.  Its sublimation is the Great Work of western Alchemy.”

I saw, as I began to write of Saturn and the Serpent of Light – the excretion and the transmission of life – the balance and clarity of function and of thought:  the mercury through the body – the Sun-cube through the veins and arteries.  It is called the path of Administration.

PFC writes, “the mental effects of this blue-violet vibration are poise, deliberation and concentration.”

This is the discriminating blade of Saturn in the ZAIN path of the Lovers:   Saturn on the Tree is Binah:  and the path of Binah – Tifareth is the parting and the placing together of things without mixing them wrongly, or blurring them.

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“An over-active Saturn  – the violet-indigo vibration –  results in fear and in retaining waste, which poisons the body.”   Tension hardens the sphincters by torsion.  “Deficiency of Saturn weakens the bony structure and leads to dreaming without doing, and to eccentricity and rashness.”

If we are destined for a path of Knowledge or genuine Kabbalah, its opening stages can be violently painful, physically or emotionally.    The awakening – coming to grips with the Light – is like Jacob wrestling the Angel.   We cannot yet see what it is, but we are magnetically wedded to it all over.   The Presence in the long years before it begins to dawn and take shape, is a fearsome commodity in relationships, work or whatever is given to tackle.   When I was a baby, I woke crying from the recurrent nightmare of a high, sharp mountain range which screamed.   That Himalayan range, as I grew up into it, became the ancient Self.

images

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Now, some poetry:

I see in my past, a preparation of the Great Work in “the Rain Check Dream” in the Watershed.   It was like a cauldron in the cellar of the seas, and is accurately described.  I have quoted it in an earlier post, but here it is again:

“There was a feeling, in these sequences of dreams, of the light of the Sun’s fire.   It grows in a cauldron whose substance I cannot quite see.   Time entered and gave it meaning.   Time with it brought feelings and images of something male, unknown and triumphing, a power or vividness which I recognized,  something outside or new to myself, something I welcomed.   The cockbird crowed.   I touched with it, stone in a secret place.    A mosaic of window panes fell away, and I lived now in light between the fragments of an archipelago which danced upon the sea.   Upon the crests of the waves came wild plumed horses to meet me, blow upon my making.   Yet, too acute an occult concentration may mask fear and emotional poverty.

“I put it down,  I left it,  went to have lunch.

“The thing in my absence maintained its steerage, and when I returned to the cellar of the seas,  I purchased with it my vision.   From the dawn a tribe of sea-lions drew chariots of fire and the sun waxed until it filled the whole sky.   I welcomed. And still it was held, this unknown thing, this flame, in the quiet equilibrium of hands.   Upon the potters wheel rises slow my city of Gathertegen, for my children to generate;   the wrong rotation,  the wrong touch, vanity, it crumbles.

“Again and again, between sheets white as snow whose melt is the ocean, the seed was taken, and it grew.   “Let God guide you.”    It widens and is shaped with hands, it is something fiery which glows.”

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I suffer it before I become it easily.   This is clear.   When the human organism is transitioning from the racial form into the ageless form, it crosses a Quantum field – an electron leaping to a higher orbital frequency.

From “I Dreamed on Good Friday Morning”

“To clamber through to the other side was now deliberate ;
to dream an unreal fairground scene of desolation – 
phantasm of effort:  for may we not connect, at any time 
with or without the surface body?

My inertia could not turn. 
I could not walk, but on the cakewalk I 
let my awareness open, soften, surrender the vibration itself; 
and into a neural chaos drowned, 
seeking comfort, smudging circuitry. 

For a few seconds only, the cooperation eased; 
then wave clusters dense, collided, cancelled, jammed to a screech
braining damage 
metallic resonance of Light on high, 
a black hole curved to singularity, destruct survive – 
cried out.  Woke.”

Poems of Eclipse,  1999

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And this poem which is called “The Beginning of Seeking.”  Ramesh Balsekar spoke of the beginning of seeking, as a dark night of the soul when the ego realises – “Who is this I, i am so concerned about?” – and there is nothing that can be done.   For me the beginning of seeking was in the Karmic minefield of a relationship:

“I call our story “beginning of seeking” 
but actually it was the end 
when I ambushed you with attitudes 
and so called success 
of culture and conditioning – 
and your Tales from No-mans-land began.  

I saw my hands and arms, unstoppably 
sew for you unsuitable shirts 
of their own accord. 

From vulnerable no mans land 
sprang a battlefield, twist of swords 
helpless to prevent 
as a silver birch’s stem to order the leaves that branch – 
or forest to restrain the deer.

I saw mercenaries, armed to the teeth 
lay siege to a house within the storm 
which stays untouched ; 
which does not break, 
but into which all broke, each plate 
and cup of repaired fragility. 

The beginning of seeking happens when 
an open house is closed,
and swords lay siege 

to a grey and starving maiden
locked inside.

From Poems of Eclipse, 8 June 1999

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Tree with hebrew

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16 June 2013

In John Coyote’s poetry, I found these three wonderful lines.

You rested your body against me.
We were lovers once.
Friendship took us to the next level.”

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Secret Dakini Oracle spread, 15 June 2013

Secret Dakini Oracle spread, 15 June 2013

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Spirituality is the way things work in life.   Last week came a  gleam of light – the Serpent of Light in the archway of the inner life:  Hermes.   The other day, I cast the dakini oracle.   The horses look at one another across it, and the Serpent rises through Mula, the dark Goddess, the root chakra or muladhara.  The first card, “Earth Bound” at the top, is actually Tarot Key 21, The World.   The one in the middle, apex of the pyramid, is the Karmic living goddess:  a higher insight level.   The oracle reflects what I was thinking about. Give it time.

Aries and I went for a walk and discussed why life is so unbelievably hard and painful for some people – the knocks, the battering …  the spiritual path.

It is the way the Light looks and feels, when we are still in training, and bumping into it.

Even a bike crashes on the road to Damascus!

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A painting of Binah - In the Beginning - Genesis. The E or Aleph of "Elohim" is at the centre point, inside the letter Beit. God breathes on the waters, and Creation returns through the night, to source. At the time this was painted, Uranus, Saturn and Venus were conjunct.

A painting of Binah – In the Beginning – Genesis. The E or Aleph of “Elohim” is at the centre point, inside the letter Beit like a little spark. God breathes on the waters, and Creation returns through the cosmic night, to source. At the time this was painted, Uranus, Saturn and Venus were conjunct.

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**

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

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

aquariel link

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

Tales from The Watershed: The Lens

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hieroglyph

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vesica by dino valenti

vesica by dino valenti

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IN THE 1970s, I joined a team of portrait painters.  We were commissioned to draw and paint children at boarding-schools for their parents;  at first we were called Portrait Artists Ltd;  later our manager William Deeves formed a registered charity – The National Portraiture Foundation.  Our work brought us a basic livelihood;  later, the Assocation’s additional aim, as well as introducing portraiture to households at a bargain rate, was to sponsor and train gifted young people.  

Working with a fraternity of senior artists, I enjoyed the intensive and (for me) exhilerating weekends of my artistic apprenticeship.  I learned to work fast and accurately,  drawing five and occasionally up to ten portraits in a single day.  In the evenings we hit the town, exhausted, and caroused.   We travelled and worked together, and formed  close friendships.  It was like a Renaissance bottegha.    

Sometimes I stop to reflect on my many hundreds of portraits in unknown living rooms up and down the country.  They were all done with a passion which glows.  Those children are by now grown up, with children of their own.  Occasionally we converge again, for me to sketch new additions to the family.   It was a remarkable period of human richesse, adventure and companionship.

(Gallery 1 – to view, click on any image, and wait to upload)

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At the same time I had a deep and prolonged relationship-stress at home.  Like the gems within a geode, its safety valve was my dreams at night.   I wrote them down, and they became the foundation for my spiritual journey to come – my Tales from the Watershed. (For others in this series, see under Categories.)

“The Lens” when I dreamed it in 1975, underwrote a tough growing curve.  My then partner was trying to turn me against my family and my grandparents.  

This tale of vision, an alchemical catalyst, breaks through the crust each time I rediscover it.   At times, life has to be hard and painful, and to crack, to let in the light.   

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strata

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Dreams No.203 – 6 November 1975:  “The Lens”

THERE’S A touch or fragrance of landscape – like winter in Wales.   It reminds me of Jim Ede.   I see his books in shelves of white weathered wood;  the backs of these books are a faded spectrum of grey, blue and dusky green like the sea.   The books are in my early memories of my grandparents.   Some of them are about mountains and the men who climb snowy Annapurna, and some have “Details” and “More Details” in them of Renaissance angels in the National Gallery.

These were my masters.   As a child I sat in a high chair at a round table with a big book open to a Botticelli madonna, angel, Primavera or cluster of hands, and copied them.   They taught me to draw.  They showed me how beautiful a line or curve can be, and its mythology.   There is no half measure of grace.   I drew what I saw, breathed the fragrance of those old pages.   The beauty is pain to hold until it can find again a pencil.

There is toast and honey for tea:  a droll solemnity in Jim’s blue eyes.  My grandmother’s voice is crisp as a bee in the Scottish hills, as she turns the old pages with me.  “Don’t fuzz the line, let it grow bold and clean.”

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(Gallery 2 – includes drawings circa 1956/7)

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How strange then !  on this journey with the other portrait artists on a job, somewhere near Malvern or the Welsh border, to find these very books on shelves in the house of shy George.  George is the new artist who joined our itinerant group.   He is “non-descriptive”.

I cannot describe the strange pleasure of discovery the mute volumes give me, or the delicate hues of their closed cloth covers,  but it brings me home to a vivid light in my grandfather’s eyes,  and the sharp smell of beeswax.   It is the in-dwelling essence also of this remote and hilly part of the country.   Many hills up here are untrodden, many small valleys unseen;  it rains, and cloud veils a sudden opening to the sun.   The woods, the villages and ways of life here, a closed and forgotten book, lie open to the sky.   A celestial radiance plays havoc within this house …   why has George inherited it?

madonna botticelli

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George, the shy one, invited us to stay with him rather than go to a hotel, for his house was near the school where we worked.   He speaks very little, wears drab dark garments, and never allows anyone to see his work.   The rest of us like to amuse, learn from, or draw moral support from each other.   We are qualified in the art of likeness, and do the same drawing over and over, more or less.    Sometimes I am arrested, by an angel glimpsed in the face of a child at school, and a touch of magic begins …  but George is a kind of non-person.  He whispers.  He leaves almost no traces of his passage on his surroundings.

The interior of his house is a kind of splendour.

He draws with his eraser.   He builds a delicate web with his pencil, then transforms it with the eraser to a textural smudge of suggestion.   He doesn’t like any of us to see what he is doing.   Under his cloak, behind his thick lensed spectacles, he hides a delicate draughtsman’s act of discovery and uncertainty.   The creature covers its tracks.    Yet he doesn’t mind us seeing his house – he suddenly decided to trust us.   So we ran all over it like children, in delight, curiousity and personal pique –  for we have not been kind to him behind his back, we laugh at his non-drawings.

We explored the bric a brac in timbered and palatial rooms,  the nameless antiques of personal history,  the vases of flowers on scrubbed white shelves of veined driftwood,  the drawings and canvasses on the walls,  some of these his own work.    The geometric flora of vesica pisces in medieval architecture is a recurring theme, and so is the zodiacal calender, containing detailed studies of local wild animals.  Circle enters circle, making love:  the oval lenses widen, giving birth to fishes and hexagonal stars.  Long wide corridors lead out into the gardens to view the woodland paths and thistle tufted meadows of George’s violet country.

How dim and dark his house looks, until you step inside.   In many of the rooms I found upon shelves, Jim Ede’s old books still standing.   Their silvering script seems to protrude through walls and out of doors, like the sky or sea within.  The wood came in with the sea.

So George also knows.

winter

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And I wandered from George’s house into the extensive and rather untidy gardens.   A path through the cider orchard brought me to a heterogenous group of outbuildings, maybe the old stables, or a wattled barn with an apple-press inside, where tiny insects flit and drink.

But no, they resemble a castle.   As I came nearer, I noticed an ornate and graceful architecture.  Grass and weeds flourished untended;  a mixed growth of hazel and oak around it formed a natural glade.   I entered a serial maze.   One building opened or led loosely into the quadrangle of another through a graded sequence of archways growing at the same time greater and lesser.   The sequence was not a linear one.   Into an encircling depth of centre I travelled through dark stone walls, through alternating shells of greenery and masonry with a few old trees and some sheds for the chickens, garden tools and lumber.   It is like a rose.  It is all rather overgrown;  and suddenly every arch meets and opens into a single flower; and I am brought to a halt by a vault that surrounds me;   and through the high apex of the vault comes the light of the sky all around.

The vault enspheres the anthem of this space.

vesica 1

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I’m brought to the standstill of my breath by a wordless music.  A Gothic stone spiral around interwoven curves and planes of the arch, opens into, from and out of itself, a web of variations on one theme – where all ways meet.   Here is silence.   It leads the eye of my mind into contemplation, an angelic stair,  it leads me entranced to a kind of window,  crystal lens or sightless “eye” above me.

Yes.   The trance is entry, entrance.   I am drawn into the “ar’got” or secret tongue.   My vision drawn up into the web, the polyphony of stone and timber, evolved as one of those dark caves of limestone rock whose glory drop by drop the rain carved out through the aeons.   As stalagmite to stalactite, is my soul’s growth from the ground towards the point of meeting, of reflection in that imperceptible deposit of cosmic mineral.    Let us draw together through time, this space of meeting.

The moment of the whole is my small candle flame.  It lifts away from the wick to unite with itself in the upper waters on the rock – an inverted flame approaches.   The interpenetrating planes of the sphere – petals of  vesica pisces – dissolve as a droplet.   Not by earthly measure a large chamber, this vault; one candle would suffice to illumine it;  a single drop contains itself a sea.

madonna

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In caverns of limestone the work is through ages of darkness.   The candle must be brought to it, to reveal what is being formed.   The organs of our inner body, like that which gleams in the cave, work in the dark.  Beyond sight, they glow.  In the hollowing of the Gothic sphere or chamber, I am the hour-glass of the ages.   I see inverted or reflected pinnacles in the web – in an instant, yes, the instant of awakened vision, the fire of light.   It infinitely illumines.   The trance is my entry.  It subtly, inexorably captures my mind into Sight, into the loss of my known cities, into the persuasion of that lens in the roof.   I enter the focal point through a series of shells, of planes of vision superimposed.   I am bound into a spell, into the curve of an arc meeting infinite solvency around and into that dance,  the line of a drawing under the Master’s Eye.

In this organ I have no known learning, no “argot” or translation.   How am I to see?   Shall I look inward?   Only, it is said, to the extent that you are able to see from within your own dark,  may you begin to perceive What is looking in !

Who is being encountered and instructed in this place of meeting?  to grow from the ground as vision itself within the eye?  CREDO in unum deum, like flower to sun, through the resistor of the earthly membrane.   Lord, thou art God.  I am that I am:  TAT TWAM ASI.  Around it flow details and yet more details in the ballet of stone, of rocky argive,  or webbed timber.   I know nothing but a sudden flood of response to my calling, the music of aeons in an overpowering instant;   I am the draughtsman’s line.

 ..

I am sensing also some springtime petals of cloudy blue.   Harebells, those modest dancing goddesses.   They are waving in the breeze, and it is sad.  “Bye bye my April, I am five and we are moving house.  I am five years old, and I have to go to school to learn to read and write.”

We moved away from Bransdale on the Yorkshire moors to go to school in Cornwall.  It was April 1954.  The harebells had just come through the long winter snow.

Bye bye Finella

Bye bye Finella

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There is also in this magnetized place, a fear of what is capturing me;  of the loss of my innocence or my state of unknowing,  of bondage into a vibration or ray of light that might burn out all my centres.  I might submit to a dark or merely occult power which alienates.   But on that trembling verge, I have beauty, the Eye,  the incandescent power of seeing.

I could hear the voices of the other portrait painters nearbye,  they too were exploring the outbuildings, talking history, shop and pigments.  They teased their way along a string of covered cloisters.   Whether in the desire to share, or to boast of my discovery – for I am lonely with it –  I called out to them from the chamber,  “Come and see this,  come and look up through here!”

But they passed through some time ago with a glance, and went on.   They are not arrested by the sight of that strange Lens, and its actual relationship to life.   They cannot see it, even though they are artists.

Three Graces

 ..

I can see, even though I am not really an Artist but –  an Astronomer.   The temple arresting my gaze, is an optical organ or instrument.   I am the evolving or revolving science of optics, a vision or lens, which is being developed for observing the universe.   I am designed to bring the stars closer, through instruments.

The temple is an observatory.   It was the pineal power of sight, both inner and outer, bestowed in times gone by, upon the human beings of today.   It tutors our perception.   The choices we make with our gift of sight follow the lines of personal evolution.

 ..

Ring on table Emblem 9

Later on as I came away from this place, different frames of time superceded the vault to heaven.  My fascination with the lens turned malign.   The voltage in my cells was too strong.   As I had grown no experience in handling or mastering the gift, its flow of ions – condensed from aeons –  became a resistence factor against “me”.   It began, like matter over-energised, to work against the tide of my feeling,  in things I did or that happened to me.

No longer could I flow with  life.   My way across the grain distorted it.  It grew heavy in what I did and what received.   I stuck in the grain of a round wooden table, towards the edge, the river of life.  There were incarnations, apprenticeships and jealousies.  It crossed me – bad temper, frustration,  rebellion against the grain.   I was barricaded from vision, and defenseless against the barrage of all encompassing petty grievance – my immaturity, my envy of others.

I began to fear very much the Lens, and my temerity in looking through it.   I fear the betrayals to which I now am vulnerable as I make my way back to life through the trees, to the “Round Table” of my colleagues.   I am superstitious in the wood.

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(Gallery 3)

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The next thing I see is myself no longer at centre,  but on the rim of a circle or mandala.   We’ve left George’s house and the unassuming glories of his inner world, and are back at work drawing and painting schoolchildren.   We have been placed around a large table to work;  it is of light oak;  the flowing grain has trapped pale flecks like feathers or flocks of birds.   There isn’t much elbow room.  We are in each other’s way, looking at the other’s way of doing the same or the done thing, like a ferris wheel of mirrors.

My problem in this wood is the grain not of truth but of the copier.    Who is faking?   Who is the forger – the forager ! –  of works of art?

Peter has come.   Peter my father who is a farmer, brings his own grain of truth to the table, to join our circle.  He is getting out paper, charcoal,  making space for himself.   I always knew he has the eye.

Oh, but what is this?   He’s been commissioned to do two paintings here, in oil!   But he  jumped the grade – the new apprentices should begin with drawing.  Colour is the art of the master.   He’s not a painter, he’s never done a painting in his life!    My own two sitters never turned up, I lost time and money, dark jealousies within me oppress and sting my eyes with tears.   I’m in a long flag-stoned passage near the kitchens.  I can’t get through to them or their families on the antiquated country telephone with its knotty brown cord.   My anger and hatred detonate everywhere into everything that obscures, obstructs and harasses me.   Next I dialled Bill Deeves, our entrepreneurial manager, but got cut off.

I have no sitters, no work to do or be paid for,  and everyone else is productive and busy,  I’ve been let down,  the two absent sitters are two blanks of sight before me.   “If you don’t use a Talent, you lose it!” – they were given to him while I was away –  I was far away, in the strange Lens.   I might as well be blind.   Life gathers atoms of misfortune into tides of flickering pigment, should I look?    Or should I not?

Within the frame.  Within the wood. Within the body.

“Let thine eye be single, and thy body filled with light.”

 ..

I had to walk here –  along the toils, the coils and branches that meander into the dark,  along the path of honesty.   This path, the work of the seer, is an essential thread or filament to unravel in my being.   It leads from light in the mirror, back to light that is its source, in the Self, the sacred Eye.

And i was late.

And i had lost all my gear.

 ..

(Peter remarked in 1992, after he read the first draft of this story:  “What a masterly drawing you do of George and of his house.   Was there really this astounding Folly, this temple?   Your moment of seeing there, of Eternity, was like T.S.Eliot’s beside the sunken pool in the hidden garden –  ‘quick, quick, said the bird’.  

“Strange how at quite early ages we know we have the “sacred eye”, the gift that is both burden and light, and yet through time and time we cannot or will not use it, or forget it is there,  until another nudge reminds us of our work.   Never mind about being late when here is all, and once here you do not need your gear,  so it is better lost.

“What is ‘pineal’ sight?   Pineal is to resemble a pine cone,  or is the stalked Pineal endochrine gland in the brain.   Is it a folded upon itself leaf by leaf cone of inward and outward sight that unfolding radiates outwards,  seeing all?   And argo is jargon or slang of a trade or calling – in argot’s case,  usually of thieves?”)

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angels

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**

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

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

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

Tales from the Watershed: “House Life”

Another old wives’ Watershed Tale – (See under Categories in sidebar)…

daffodils in Alex Pollock

But first …

Celebrating Easter, last week’s equinoctial Full Moon, Pesach?  My secret of the golden flower is buried somewhere in the grim weather here – a biting cold, sad wind, grey like a gravestone, the trees have nothing on, and are shivering, little birds are huddled under their wings.   Holy things are shrouded.

My ingredients are basic:  visualise fluffy yellow chicks and daffodils:  the full Moon radiance through my window.  In London, she blushed silvery pink.  Symbolically unleavened bread suggests its opposite:  the Presence, the yeast:  Ascension, timelessly.   The bread of life is pounded down to wait, to rise.  The spores are stars.   In Hebrew, Bethlehem was the House of Bread.

Both faiths – Hebraic and Christian – combine great loss, grief, rebirth and joy, within the elder pagan Spring Festival … the Passion of the Passover and of the Cross.  For every woman, childbirth is her Passion and Renewal.

The symbolism in the Hebrew Names for the Moon, including Levanah, is for me, breathtaking: see the above link.  But I might add a more Kabbalistic one later.

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sunshine boy with house 1954

sunshine boy with house 1954

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Part One:  “House Life” – Dreams No 275    November 1976

IN THE kitchens of this large house, we romp about and slide down chutes of dry mud.  Many people live here among great rooms and staircases, and the place is semi ruined.   In the spacious warmth of its untidy mysteries, great chunks of life are lived and games are played, as in the womb.

parties in gathertegen 1954

parties in gathertegen 1954

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Once it was a house I wanted to rent.   It had then a large clean kitchen.   I rode my bicycle very fast up the road and back again to talk to a priest about it – to Father William, whom I asked to instruct me in the catholic Faith – a stout, red-cheeked Jesuit at Farm Street.   He is jovial, for he knows he’s on the Rolls Royce escalator to Heaven.   He strolled with one of his wealthy Mayfair parishioners to and fro along the road by the trees, in his smart black cassock and heavy gold watch.  He told me, alas he could not receive me into the church, unless I promised not to have sex with my unborn baby’s father occasionally – to whom of course, I was not married.   My logic to try and keep the relationship stable for my child to grow up in, went further than the Jesuits’, and I’m afraid I was angry, and very rude to him.   The J’s were touchingly kind, however.   They passed the hat around.  They gave me a pram, two dozen terry nappies, a pile of babygros and two big boxes of groceries from Sainsburys, so I didn’t have to spend a penny.   That is logic!

house lit up and the moon

house lit up and the moon 1954

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Father William changed his job. He now belonged to a church next door to the house, which was both Catholic and Anglican, and more permissive.

And in other dreams, the house belonged to an elderly Jewish gynaecologist whom I have painted portraits for.   He is a wealthy gnome, performs abortions safely for very distressed ladies, and loves to keep a woman on his arm.  I had bad dreams about him being a terrible dentist – all my teeth shouted and hurt.   He is a bright magpie with his possessions; every treasure he owns must be of great market value, and he was sure that I would be, one day.   He showed me and some other visitors around his lusciously furnished domain.   The property was vast.   It covered the area of many streets.   It was a great field.   It was busily inhabited by anxiety, hope and drama.

It is easy to get lost in this house.   It has staircases, galleries and big musty rooms at different levels.   The opulence is tarnished, it developed a patina of neglect.   It is rather  warm because the windows are not often opened, even in summer.

chimneys and balloon 1954

chimneys and balloon 1954

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Then it became another house.   I entered it several times through the garden gate.   In the sultry night both indoors and outdoors, the house stood four-square and Georgian in its garden or space.   It had large windows, some of which were lit up from within.   Like the kind of house and garden which children draw, it had a fence around it.   It was also very stately.   It was alive, big and heavy, and shadows lay with oppressive sensitivity in the worn and flaking stone.   On some nights that I went there, there would be only one light on upstairs.   My baby’s father lived there.   But the night that I remember, three or four windows were lit up, and I could hear the sombre sound of his typewriter upstairs.

fragmenting house & dreamer, 1987

fragmenting house & dreamer, 1987

I went up the path to the front door.   I opened this door, inserting my key into the delicate chambers of the lock and turning it with great deliberation.   I could feel the shape and teeth of the key probing inward.   It was a Yale, the same as the ones that I keep outside my Greencroft Gardens flat, in the garden wall, and which he asked me to move to a different hiding-place so he wouldn’t know where they were.

The keys to this house were given to me in trust.   How long would I be permitted this privilege?   As I went in I said to someone boldly,  “What a barn this place is.”   Some parts or sections of it were not fitted up and lined with a skin of plaster and damp-proofing as a house for people is.  They were like the farmyard, with walls of mud.   I knew my way.  I was fond of the different textures and moods of this house.   I never knew what to expect, because the walls within it were porous and unsealed.

A vague, oppressive fear also kept me on my toes.   Life in it could change as rapidly as the weather over the moor.  Bruised and broken soldiers in the walls, awake and bleed.  I reached the upstairs landing.   Here several doors opened off a wide balcony or gallery to other rooms.   I could still hear him writing.   I didn’t want him to stop.   I didn’t want to disturb him.   He did not live alone here.   Other people inhabited this house as well.   But he heard me arrive, heard my voice say “What a barn this place is”  and he appeared on the landing and might be very angry.

My memory of what next happens is vague.

We were in a room.   It was an upstairs dining room, bare, with a long table.   I lay on my back along a bench.   This house is inhabited by a group of people governed by a matriarch and a patriarch.   The old lady wears lace and musty-smelling clothes, the sort you might find in a Victorian fancy dress box in an attic,  and she is very powerful.   In long Saturnine waves, her dominion increases, because the patriarch, the old man, is now dying.   He has a long white beard.   He visibly fades and wanes.   Lv – my baby’s father –  tells me I must, for his sake, and with all my loyalty, concentrate every atom of my strength to resist the persuasive authority of the old matriarch and her mockery.   An intense battle of will is developing between him and Her.   I try to stay on his side.   It is very hard to fight off the dominance of the old lady, which is ascendent in myself; for the old man, moribund, is failing fast.  I need to be neutral, but do not dare.  If I am neutral, Lv will feel abandoned and betrayed, and abandon me:  so I play the old game.

What of the relationship, this three-fold tension between us  – the grandmother, Lv and myself?   She and he are absolutely opposing forces, yet they work together.   He is not shouting now.   Centred, quietly decisive, refined, he survives minute by minute, a cataclysm in his soul, which we struggle to protect with conscious spells.  He is himself, an unborn child.  I might lose the thread, any moment, and fail.  He needs me to fight, and not  succumb to the old woman, he tests my metal with his fate.   If I lose the fight, I forfeit my right to those keys.   Because of her very great age, She is stronger than he, but he holds one card :  to be beyond the law.  To answer to no one.

I have wondered who these unknown people are, in the magician’s house.   Are they anima and animus, or are they his parents?   His father is dying, is mortally ill in Hungary.   He hates  his mother,  he hates all mothers.  He hates Her.   The old people and the archetypal miasma that surrounds them, come from a place where I was not.   I don’t know whether or not I came clear from this battle, whether it happened in my soul, or in his house.   Some of the spaces in that house are not lined, and they are not contained, either.   In the extreme difficulty of combating the astral magick power of the old matriarch, I was what she was becoming.

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16th C midwives & astrologers

16th Century:  midwives & astrologers – womens’ work and mens’ work, back to back:  practical feminine and romantic male – Our human nature both sides!   I’m glad I drew/copied this, rather than just paste the original engraving.  It gave me a direct insight. I am moved to draw something when I wish to embody it.

“De Conceptu et Generatione Hominus 1587” by Jacob Rueff (copy)

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After this, I began to have dreams about a pregnant lady, as I always do when my bladder fills.   The growing womb presses on it.   I have to get up two and sometimes three times in the night.   She was overdue, poor thing.   I transferred to her my discomfort, so that it was she who ran around lonely in the night, though she always found helpers in streets and on country lanes near Taunton.  She seemed to have been pregnant for years.   This was all very well, but I was still looking for a lavatory.   I found at long last a row of them in one of the barn-like scruffy areas of the house – I was desperate for relief –  a great big open place of hard earth and timber props like the pigsties of derelict Rome.

a minim on the stave

Then I found myself in the kitchens – still wanting to go –  by the fuel burners and the chimneys.   I sat at the table and looked at a book.  It was a picture story, like a strip cartoon.  The rows of pictures came to life as I turned the pages, so it was no longer a book but happened to me, as botanically described:  the story of a penis.  He was shown in every state of arousal and repose.  He glistened red like a rare flower, he lived and grew within two loamy darknesses of many hues, in a garden.  I forgot I needed to pee.  “A rose in dark soil is penis love.  The penis is a seed.  Children grow up,” it said, under the pictures.   What a tender, strange thing!  I was moved almost to tears.  It first repelled, then I rode it.  I didn’t know anything at all about sex.  I had never heard of it.  This was a plant, a botanical process in the garden:  my education.  I was at primary school – a biology lesson.

lovers 2 j&d6

I recognised it is his.  I began to grow up.  In each successive picture, it curled and grew like a serpent.  I saw the whole genitalia, in a secret earth among the roots, like an illumined manuscript.  He was a sperm, with two “heads” like fishes, one at the growing tip, and one about half way down, like a branch.  The long sperm grew some more, and moved its glowing crimson flower in my garden soil.  As I learned, it penetrated, the bud grew up, right up my spine to the back of my throat to speak, I desired – pain, pleasure, bad girl, heart’s desire – what if I wet the bed?  I need to pee.  The occult work is such a LABOUR.  But I have no choice.  He carries me like a flood.  I bore down as it came, I didn’t care if I wet the bed, I pushed out the newborn child to him, the child he conceived from so deep inside.  Love.

IMG_0822 - Version 2

In the garden, conception, orgasm, childbirth, are One and the same.  Fused with heaven and all human history, the One indivisible moment outshone everything I knew.  It blew the fuse.  I was a child.

To receive is simultaneously to give.  It doesn’t matter, if the linear world pulls time apart into different times, and does not see the eros Rose, or if we see for the time being, only our fantasies, and suffer.  She washes out for ever deep down, those sad soapy sexual beliefs that rocked us to sleep.   A Rose is the risen:  the law is for giving.

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I woke with it, but slept again and dreamed I bled.   The blood came in thick drops,  brown in colour.   Had it made me miscarry?  I looked and willed the blood not to be there.   But it was.   I made up my mind that this is a dream, and woke at once.

Finally I dreamed again about the house.   It was now enormous, of many many storeys.   I lived very high up in it, in Greencroft Gardens.   I went visiting down the road, and lent my spare keys (the ones I keep outside in the garden wall) to my best friend’s husband the Architect, who wanted to fetch something from my flat.   He came back.  The keys were sometimes of metal and sometimes of soft balsa wood (for building model boats), and so frail they might break in the lock.

balsa boat

Next, Lv visited me and I gave the keys to him.   I was glad he wouldn’t find the Architect inside.   In all innocence it is not right that these keys be passed around, for whatever reason.  He said the whole building gave him the creeps.   He was feeling rather jumpy.

A “Watershed” Dream – November 1976

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Jung with pipe

“Jung looked up at me and said, “When a man’s anima meets a woman’s animus, it is bound to be A HELL OF A BUSINESS.”   (Joseph Campbell)

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Part Two: Sacred Geometry

The following Easter-bunny reflection is based on Nassim Haramein’s seminar “Crossing the Event Horizon” (2005, published by The Resonance Project), which I just began to watch.

Kabbalah 1989 pentagramic pattern

A rose is a rose is the risen:  the law is for giving.  The “House Life” dream telescoped everything I would later study of Kabbalah and the Tree of Life.  It was stored in my cellular memory.

How borderline we are!  The language we use is a projectile interface.  It moves with light and shadow:  easily the Veil is imagined as evil:  lived as devil:  eve, the level responsible for it all.  Indeed she is:  She is the subconscious – God’s own womb, no less – the oven to bake the bread;  the house of life.

Archetypal forms of the soul, are sacred geometry. Sacred geometry opens the understanding, visually, with less need for explanation.  As we can browse beautiful tetrahedrons, blueprints and isotropic vector metrics online, to our hearts content, here are mostly, my old doodles of discovery and photos of nature – of water, wood and sky.

Nature - the bottomless

Nature – the bottomless

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balloon

My “House Life” dream gestates  the point.   A single point – like a full stop –  is said to have zero dimension:  yet its geometry is of the sphere. It contracts or expands infinitely, according to magnification.   No balloon is inflated – the cosmic Doppler shift – without an emptying lung.

Who is the blower?   Who blows a black hole into a widening star?

Every law arises from its opposite.  We are not nouns but verbs – the transition.   Respiration in and out, is the law of Kalpa aeons:  cosmic speech and stars.

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We are fluid points of transmission, the stars are not fixed.   A point, or dot contains in infinite series,  EVERYTHING.  A circle is a magnified point.   When we begin in the womb, we are nothing.  But as the interior process unfolds, we are everything!  Every thing is ensphered by its boundary which is No thing!  A boundary – a circle or sphere – contains the potential of Infinite interior division.  This is our union.  Each of us centres no thing:   the tiny mustard seed when opened, is empty.

“In a painting, as in life, keep the centre empty, for light to flow into it.”

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When we are illumined, the dots join up.   The relevance of this to everyday life, nature and each other, is love.  I am empty for You.  I am built open.   It becomes intuitive:  the natural state.   As some of us begin to see things in this way, it tinctures homeopathically the fantastic off-centre slavery of today’s world.  Oasis develops, and is gradually contagious,  like evening stars one by one coming out:  shalom – peace.

Does peace then, emerge from its opposite? – the tension we see around?

Consciousness, and therefore All, begins from one place only:  HERE.
This point, which is All.

soul tetrahedrons

soul tetrahedrons

“The most stable structure in Nature is the tetrahedron.”  The nesting of infinitely decreasing Tetrahedrons inside themselves, is identical to the human mind’s manner of mental invention, pastime, panic and creation.  Absolutely ANYTHING when focused, creates its own expanding rationale – the menu on your screen.   So practice peace!

(This lifetime, I have a private leitmotif – it dropped into my mind when I was twenty.  I had a job at a second hand bookshop in Charing Cross Road, and scribbled my thoughts on brown paper bags:  “Turn it round.  To forgive, I must give way to the force.”   It felt very profound. There was a house in a storm. This Karmic theme which reaches a long way back, concludes or bears fruit, now.)

Justice is done, but not in a place where I can see it.  Trust is the unbroken love of life, the Underbeing:  sur-render.  Render unto heaven’s law and rejoice in the fresh clean air.  The Point is subtle, and fills everything.   Tifareth:  beauty.

parent tetrahedrons

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I meant to write just one para about the Point circumscribed by nothing: the point being everything tucked up inside it, a sleeping child. In India it is called the bindhu, and on it the entire cosmic lattice depends. Today I ran aground in slack water, low tide, I needed to curl up and doze for the day – holy black bare Saturday:  tomorrow the little fluffy sunshine chicks come out.

bumble bee 1954

bumble bee 1954

So I awaken through a sleepy bumble bee – black and yellow stripes.   Easter Sunday is the last day of March.  The clocks change to summer time, with the Risen Bread.  That is a beautiful alignment!  even with wind-chill frost on the ground.

Remember the Sun’s golden semi-circle, the arc of the day:  the secret of the Golden Flower.

This year is a bardo of endings through beginnings.  My festival, my true worship, is the Unknown:  the no thing:  and like the mustard seed, fulfilled.

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The full blown Eros Rose is also FOR … GIVE.  As you see in the photo above, of the rose in an egg, it spirals to petal from the centre sensory point.   Nothing matters or happens, but this.  The Chymical wedding is deeper than the human veil.  The human veils Shekhinah.

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floweroflifeheader: Nassim Haramein: davidicke.com

floweroflifeheader: Nassim Haramein: davidicke.com

Sperm, fertilization, vesica pisces, gestation of the embryo, earth,
Sol, Star, sacred geometry cycle, you and me

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GALLERY

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Ready to post this, at last.  Happy Easter !  The Sun is having another go, this morning.

Daffodils in Douglas Hardingdaffodils in Douglas Harding

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**

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

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

 

Aquariel Link

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

The Playground

Do we look at our children – the miracle – and wonder?

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tyre swing

In Parliament Hill Playground  (1983)

Children, tender-lined
splash and tinkle sweet flesh unfinished
on water, sun and sand.

Mothers with breasts and veins
and fathers with hidden lusts and large legs
among their offspring, wander watchful.

On the other side of the sunny screen
is the Dark world of love,
the memories and messages in dreams.

Here are tall poplar trees, the grass,
the splash
and the screams
on Sunday, a picnic lunch;

and there, twelve daughters comb twelve heads
of the wizard who plans in pasha sleep
their marriages.

A drawing by R.A.Brandt from "Why the Sea is Salt" and other Norse fairy tales, 1946

A drawing by R.A.Brandt from “Why the Sea is Salt” and other Norse fairy tales, 1946

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Across the sea from those tranced islands
that little brat in the sandpit’s mine!
Fresh and strong as a sunflower, she runs and plays.

I bore her from an island
into whose ravine I sank with a man
from a different world
in sad and catastrophic collision.
Within its crater,
with debris and by shattered wells
he wrote his alien sign
imprint of peace and pity scalpel sharp
within my sleep.
And seas of time and settling sands
did drown them in the deep.

High tide brought today, the messages
clear writ, unfaded, scraps within my keeping;
water sheds …  to whom can they be told?

That little one with a brand new friend in the sand,
is my child!

tyre swing 2

They called me, come see their print –
their peak of sand with flagpole twig,
stick drawn circles, scuffed cities of play.

Lightning strikes
my life up till … and yet to come.

All our messages are these same
scraps of stories.
Sad adults play with them too
from one dark island to another dark land.

Mothers with breasts and veins
and fathers with hidden lusts and large legs breed
from their treasure chests

the mystery,
combat, tedium, joy
of their childrens’ sunrise.

family

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The background of this poem is the genesis of the Watershed Tales.  It was a summer’s day in 1983.  The day before, I unearthed from the back of a cupboard, a large pink ring-binder containing carbon-copies of hundreds of recorded dreams during the 1970s.  I had forgotten  it.   The rediscovery opened Pandora’s Box.  They woke.  There were stories !  There were dimensions !  I was in shock, and couldn’t sleep all night.  I worked with them – on and off –  ever since.   They are my raw material, my esoteric garden.

ringbinder 2

ringbinder 1

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cotswold stone

Here is a birthday card from my daughter this year.  It is called “Cotswolds Wall” and the photo is by Catherine Ames, but it reminds me of the dry stone walls on the Yorkshire moors, and my recurring early-childhood dreams of birth.  It was hard work to cross the garden of sorrows, to reach my mother, who stood at the wall, by a tree, and called me.

crossing the garden of sorrows

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A demand

This is a drawing of “a demand” – a troubled relationship – a hand outstretched which could or would not be filled.  The woman in the wall is the shape of an ear, but the man doesn’t know she hears him;  and so she grieves.

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Sisters in Bransdale, Yorkshire

Sisters in Bransdale, circa 1954

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Parenting

Parenting 1999

Heart strings

… and stretching heart strings.  (1999)

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vera and iona

A friend, who gave birth at 42 (1983)

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Lambing

Lambing, at Bransdale, 1954.  My father midwifes the ewe.  We called the lamb “Rossita”.  Behind him in the third photo, you can just see Moss, the watchful border collie, who taught my father everything he knew about sheep.

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tree on mountain

And here is a peak of sand with flagpole twig:  I Ching 53 – Wind over Mountain.  “Mountain” is “keeping the back still.”  Wind is “Gentle”, Wood, and thus a Tree whose roots penetrate the rock and it is seen far and wide.  The Hexagram is called “Development – Gradual Progress.”  It came up in the oracle early this week.   (As it did last November – see “Mandala, A Demonstrated Democracy“).  Tensions fall into place and are fulfilled.  It is serene.   My bottom line is found again – profound, beautiful and unplumbed:  for GIVE.  It is the Tree of Eden and all its fruit of all the worlds, silence.  Silent night.  I felt a shift deep down.  It dropped and fell open.  Something extraordinary happened this week.

Watch the tree, and even a whole wood on a mountain, visible and growing slowly:  the long term project.   The attitude of oasis.

Ecology is a science of echoes.  Keeping still, let the woody veins of the weather guide the field.  In the keeping still is warmth, life, light, vibrance.  Tao, the Middle Way, finds itself, or is found, like divining the river in the night.  The magnetic threads “draw together” as dharma, the right way to swim with, and for things to grow.

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

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

See also the Aquariel Link – “On Gaia as our Self” – a landmark article about Autopoiesis.

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