The Photon

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Phoenix, copied from Master R's Trinosofia

Phoenix, copied from Master R’s Trinosofia

This post is written in gratitude to all my fellow bloggers and the little Awards for Inspiration we give each other!   The Awards are places where the innumerable great streams of a river meet, and flow along each other.  Watersmeet.  Firebird.

In Alchemy, the first Matter – Sattva or Mercury of the wise – has a luminous substance.  Light on impact illumines and gives birth.  In the subatomic world, photon on impact releases a “new” photon.  Solar energy – at the speed of light – travels and is received in every direction, outward as inward.   Pilgrims along the great Roads of Consciousness, transmit the wisdom onward, everyplace.   Deltas without end form ganglia of transmission, as openly as wave-currents in the sea.

sea movement - maps

sea movement – maps

Then take the wand, and be AS THIS.   Be a lighthouse keeper.

Light inwardly, is CLARITY, the freedom of a perception, unbuffered and silent.   Limitless light concentrates itself in Kether, where the whirling motion begins manifestation.

Everything is Light, everything is the daisy-chain-movement of Light, including the difficulty of childbirth, and of human life and its pollutants, and of red in tooth and claw on earth and in the sea.

Light is obscured whenever the attention on it is lost.  I feel that Light, the movement of Light, is the true nature of time.   The time spent on battling with its dark materials when I lose that tender attention –  is dream-time, what-if time, maya time, imagined time, competitive time, fear-of-death Linear Time.   In that small illusion is trapped the bulk of humanworld and all its buildings and all its energy, crime, false economy and concerns.

When Light-awareness comes around again, it is found to be a seamless continuum:  and in this awareness, the dark materials in their tiny time – all the buildings, media and fatigues – are laid aside.  When I was not aware, I was immersed in the tiny manufactured time.  I was caught in the treadmill, and I got exhausted.

Think of this – which way shall I look?   Into the dark materials?  Or into the seamless Light?   Light it is, that watches the dark materials, and is their uncoiling.  Clarity.

For the dark is itself the Light.

What Reality do I create?

wave trains

wave trains

Intelligence of Transparency

Intelligence of Transparency

Light in this context, is the electricity in my body (manifesting through the blood stream) … the white river’s grace through my open mind … the current through the cable (Key 1) … the planetary polar axis and magnetic field, tiny portions of which are intercepted by humankind’s technology, to keep its own illusion lit up as cities in the dark materials.

The dark-matter throughout the cosmos, which links everything, is consciousness:  even as much of our brain is unexplored space.

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Look up into the Angel's Sound

Look up into the Angel’s Sound

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Angel's sound - Spiral chord polyphony

Angel’s sound – Spiral chord polyphony

I was moved yesterday by Parker Stafford’s post on “How to bear Changes in the World”.  I think it was that one. And also his post about Death.  He said that when he wakes up, he is tuned in to – (my words for it now) -the vast Mother River, our solar Cosmos – the Solar sphere (in my understanding) which embraces Pluto’s orbit, and probably is galactic … the Connectivity.   The delta of the nerve-ends everywhere … in touch.

And Lissa writes of this too – (what an inspiration she is …) – she writes of our open and exposed human feelings which, raw as they are, touch the distant stars … filaments like spider’s string at dawn.   Union, even through distress and grief.

consciousness

consciousness

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Awakening to the sun

Awakening to the sun

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I understand too, that the tiniest movement in the eyelid of Consciousness, has the potential to stir mighty changes.   Human blind-unconscious activity disturbs even the vastness of the magnetic field, which manifests in weather changes.  So much cruelty in human history comes forth into the open now, that the Karmic process is inevitable.   We are a race in its infancy, barely past the destructive tantrum stage.  The habitat we are creating, will force us to maturity.

So – as night and day, sorrow and joy, keep coming – watch the flow of the Light which is Clarity, Existence, Creation … through a million fleeting dark garments.   This is Meditation, with whatever tools you need, to hand.

Be Loved.

Wandering Fool with paper boats and hats

Wandering Fool with paper boats and hats

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path of the phoenix

path of the phoenix

The photos of the sea and sky were taken by my daughter,
on her coastal path in Cornwall.

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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/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of 3 & 4 of Arrows: the Father’s Sorrow

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Kshetraya Warrior (RAM) from http://kshatriyaektamanch.com

Kshetraya Warrior (RAM) from http://kshatriyaektamanch.com

Tarot probes the depth of the light and shadow of human experience and memory.  Otherwise it would fail as an oracle.

The Tarot’s suit of Swords suggests the masculine – the Father’s sorrow:  or as Wilfrid Owen wrote – the pity of war.   Yet the underlying theme of these two Sacred India Tarot cards (3 and 4 of Arrows) is GRIEF.  It suggests a man or woman’s feminine capacity to receive and express our grief, which is human, collective, and bottomless …  and so to heal.   I feel it is important to face and examine this:  to mirror the Father’s sorrow.

Remember the Mahabharath, the epic on which this Suit is based, depicts a massive civil war – including the Bhagavad Gita jewel of wisdom among the carnage.

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Guernica_C-800

For my own illustrations to this post, I am drawn today to Picasso’s Guernica:  the Spanish civil war bombs which slaughtered women, children and livestock – the screams of wounded horses:  the deranged bull, the all seeing light-bulb.   It is curious that in a past holocaust of my own, I dreamed and drew a Foal, whose parent had perished in a kind of astral Guernica.

Foal Farm Holocaust, 1999

Foal Farm Holocaust, 1999

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First, here are:

Sacred India Tarot Archive
Rohit’s Notes on 3 of Arrows  (2004) – “Bheeshma learns of father’s agony and sorrow over Matsyaganda or Satyavati”

“A glum looking Shantanu skulking in a corner, because the father of the young fisher girl he desires refuses to let her marry the old King when an energetic crown prince is alive, to ensure she can never become a Queen Mother.

“Bheeshma should be shown in consultation with a courtier who explains the reason for his father’s sorrow.

“‘Sorrow’ is the name of the card, and it is doubly ironic , because the sorrow he seeks to rid his father of, will end up becoming HIS sorrow.  In the sense that the Three of Arrows (swords) predicts impending sorrow and heartache, this card fits marvelously into the mythic structure of the story. 

“Bheeshma is a young adult now.  Three arrows he could be holding in his hand, or else one shaft pointed in interrogation towards his father, another pointing ‘unconsciously’ to his heart, and a third fallen on the floor.”

Visual reference from comic book, for 3 of Arrows card

Visual reference from comic book, for 3 of Arrows card

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From Rohit’s Book with the Deck:

“Shantanu, king of Hastinapur, has fallen in love with a captivating fisher-girl, Satyavati.  She exudes a fragrance of musk, a boon granted earlier by an infatuated Rishi so that she would agree to bear him a spiritually great child, Vyasa.

“Shantanu (Bheeshma’s father) falls violently in love, as men approaching old age are apt to do, but the girl’s father was chief of the fisher folk, and a wily old coot.  He argued that his daughter would be little better than a concubine, since the throne would go to the young Bheeshma.  His price for the nuptials was that Devavratha be barred from the throne, and the children of Satyavati become the heirs.

“Shantanu was appalled at this turn of events, and refused, but his agonies of thwarted sexual desire and consequent gloom threatened to consume him.

“Bheeshma questioned the senior minister and extracted the true cause of his father’s decline.  A respected elder writhing within the pincers of lust and obsession is a demoralizing spectacle.  Bheeshma is going to take a calamitous decision to please his father, and the arrows he holds pierce heart, mind and soul.  The sorrow he seeks to rid his father of, is going to become HIS sorrow, and indeed of the history of his nation….

“Ruptures and delays are initiated by Karma, so they are necessary and inevitable.  Necessary pain and trauma to clear away obsolescence … in hindsight, a period of great personal growth through troubles … this card may indicate divorce when the Karmic bond dies out …  Looming illness which can be avoided if careful:  obsessive brooding about foolish or unattainable things … Bitter and negative thoughts, ‘serpents of the mind’, and alluring erotic attractions … delusional … shadow side.

“Insight – release all of it – it was just clutter choking off your life energy.  Conversely – ‘the sped arrow returns not to the bow.’

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Sacred India Tarot - Three of Arrows - "The Father's Sorrow"

Sacred India Tarot – Three of Arrows – “The Father’s Sorrow”

“The arrows he holds pierce heart, mind and soul.”

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Now, here is my meditation on the subject.

From my journal this morning:

I shall illustrate my post on 3 and 4 of Arrows with a couple of Picasso’s Guernica sketches, and the Tree Yakshi drawing.   Maybe even the Foal.  Swords blocking Ganga.  Then it will all be visual, and I shall need to write only very little.   Grief so acutely personal and bottomless, has to remain private, to publish it at all.   My “Pitraffic” drawing in 1954, is indeed its expression.   Grief is named, but as befalls and befits us all, it is Nameless.

As sharp for instance as mine, is Abdul’s for his people.  Honour, connect, sustain objectively, and cleanse with the grief.  It is pure.  It purifies.

The mother wails and keens even now:  the tremors.   I just see and am this Arabian woman rending black veils, the stab of inconsolable grief.   It is all through my body.   It is what we see in the civil war on TV, and we cannot stand it.

GRIEF IS SHARP SWORDS DOWN INTO THE DEEP WELL.

Grief is incredibly connecting.  Childhood has it, through the parental antennae.  Grownup reaches down into it, through her masques and evasions and hurts, and finds the deep element;  any story or argument about it, disappears.   Humanity shares grief as the profound measure of our race.  From grief bursts forth our song:  Gita.

picasso

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Since my early childhood, Picasso’s drawings made a powerful impression.

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And grief and bereavement when completely allowed and touched, becomes calm.  It converts anger and violence and tension to compassion. There can be no confusion of grief with self-pity.   Grief transmutes to serenity.   The more of us who individually salvage our grief from the deep mine, and are conscious here – the better for humanworld as a whole.

So we self-cleanse the well, for the waters to become sweet, for all to drink:  as in Christ’s parables.

I wrote about the Arabian woman just now, as the breath from that arose so sharp.

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Sacred India Tarot ace of Arrows - Bheeshma blocks the Mother Ganga river

Sacred India Tarot ace of Arrows – Bheeshma blocks the Mother Ganga river

I am repeating here, this illustration – the Ace of Arrows.  I think this is what happens when we block or dramatize our grief.   When feelings are suppressed or distorted, war breaks out.

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Sacred India Tarot Archive
– Rohit’s Notes on 4 of Arrows (2004) – “Bheeshma is in dilemma over his father”

“Since he is going to take a decision to rid his father of whatever it is that troubles him, and since this card has a strong meditative aspect to it, Bheeshma should be depicted brooding over the problem to his dojo.

“To depict him in meditative seclusion within a grid of four arrows, should not be difficult.”

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Ramdev meditates at his island off the Scottish coast

Ramdev meditates at his island off the Scottish coast

Noble Kingship includes the Yogi:  meditation.  I have included this photo – kumarsushilkumar.wordpress.com because I love the symbolism of the fiery male meditator and the feminine well, which mirrors him and unites the soul … with a celtic tower in the background.   Bheeshma represents thought and the trials of conscience.

I was actually looking for these:

 King Bheeshma

King Bheeshma

Vedanta meditator

Vedanta meditator

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From Rohit’s Book with the Deck:

“The young Bheeshma has withdrawn into meditative seclusion, seeking a solution to his father’s conundrum.  While it is true that he could have accepted King Shantanu’s silence about the situation, the cultural imperative requires children to fulfil the desires and longings of parents …

“For Bheeshma, his father is still King, and the King’s welfare linked to the well being of the state, transcends individual aspirations and ambitions … His personal duty to his parent fulfilled, he is, despite the best of intentions, about to fail his society.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and sometimes the most measured, mulled over, ponderous ratiocination can be as erroneous as the hastiest of conclusions.

“This card is called ‘The Meditator’, so its presence is an indication to begin or deepen a spiritual practice of Sadhana.  Heightened mystical sensibility – seek the answers within:  vigilant thinking … Recuperation, convalescence and rejuvenation … wise expenditure … A summons to return to the fray;  enough thinking already.  

“… Or:  going into exile, into disgrace or on strike … growth that is warped or stunted, momentum interrupted, a puncture or tear in the creative fabric …Isolation and discontent.

“What is not receiving adequate thought on your part?  What are you overlooking as potential consequences?

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Sacred India Tarot - Four of Arrows - Bheeshma's Dilemma

Sacred India Tarot – Four of Arrows – Bheeshma’s Dilemma

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ARCHIVAL – 28 June 2004 – Suit of Arrows Feedback, cards 1 – 4

“I like the fact that all cards have captured the atmosphere inherent within the Air/Sword suit, of imminent menace and vague sense of sorrow and trouble rushing forward to you.  The atmosphere is very broody and suits the Bheeshma character very well.

“So from a psychological point of view, we are off to a terrific start.  The suit seems to have captured the underlying essence of turbulence and tribulation in an uncanny manner.

“I also like the meditating Bheeshma very much;  it is from a point of view of truth, the best Four of Arrows/Swords I have ever seen.

“There are a couple of points, though.  Bheeshma is perhaps not muscular enough – he looks like a Bruce Lee type of strong man.  To pull on his kind of bow would require muscular overdevelopment, like Conan the Barbarian in Marvel Comics.  This was mentioned in the instructions for Card 1.

“Gautam explained that there was some reason for not representing the suit in the dance form of Indonesia or Bali.  That is a great pity, because I really wanted to give an international flavour to the pack, not regiment it or limit it to merely Indian forms of representation.

“The epics too are really international stories, intellectual property of the world;  and Indonesia/Bali has some of the best Hindu art in the world, which was why I was keen on it.

“The Prince looks, I don’t know, slightly financially strapped.  Could we add some pate armour or jewels to his chest or arms, so that the inherent splendour of what he was going to give up, comes out stronger?  This looks austere.

“The Buddha suit was perfect in conveying the level of luxury he enjoyed.

“But overall, as I said, the psychological accuracy and impact of the suit till now, is remarkable’”

Rohit

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SITA ace arrows Bhishma blocks the Ganga - Version 2

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

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Jane

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/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of 2 of Arrows: Bheeshma’s Training

This post includes a tribute to the late Doris Lessing..

Krishna drives the chariot:  Arjuna aims the arrow - detail from Sacred India Tarot Arcanum 7

Krishna drives the chariot: Arjuna aims the arrow – detail from Sacred India Tarot Arcanum 7

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In Tarot, the suit of Swords represents the celestial Dharma which we experience in our earth-humanity as the Karmic battleground.   Dharma is the law of growth, ripeness and change.   In India the Sanatana Dharma very broadly down the millenia, is the Way of the Good, the way which works through nature and humanity.

Karma is the revealed action and reaction:  the visible play of swords.

I am in a period of personal turbulence, which is not surprising when touching the energies of this Suit.   I try my utmost to hold the pieces together;  in fact they all fit together perfectly!   No stone is left unturned.

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Visual reference from comic book, for SITA 2 of Arrows - Parushurama trains Bheeshma Parashuruma

Visual reference from comic book, for SITA 2 of Arrows – Parushurama trains Bheeshma Parashuruma

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Rohit’s Notes (2004) – Bheeshma’s Early Training – Parashurama versus Bheeshma

“They are at a deadlock, as his skill matches his teacher’s, and prefigures the later inconclusive fight they have.  His father is glumly watching this training combat, as he realises he will never be as great as his son.  That explains a lot about Shantanu’s cruelty to his son later.  Since Parashurama was a Rishi, he can be depicted in traditional style, but somewhere around, his huge battle axe should be visible, as his very name is derived from that …  Bheeshma is still a young man here.  We could have a classic two arrows crossed in mid air, to represent the blocked or static feel of the Two of Swords.”

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At this point, I would like to include a Tarot Celtic Cross reading done for me in 1974.  In 1988, I drew two maps of the same reading.  I was working out laws of reincarnation, which are no different from the way thoughts “arise, settle, change and vanish”, in the mind right now.   There isn’t space here to go into what it was all about in my life then.  What interests me, is the polar tension of the Two of Swords:  they resound as cymbals: the symbol.   Abstract images like this, struck my profound chords of feeling:

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A few months later in that year, I discovered my “working form” – the Tree of Life.  I was  curious about magnetic equilibrium, polarities, masculine/feminine and the waiting fertile ground and its problems in rebirth:  the work of the soul.  I saw an interaction of The Fool (ego) and The King of Swords (entity) in the self:  it featured the Ace, Two, Four and Seven of Swords, together with 6,7 and 2 of Pentacles and the World (represented by a wreath).

Here is another interesting sketch in the same red notebook:

Fool and Priestess 1988.  The Priestess was in an earlier reading.

Fool and Priestess 1988. The Priestess was in an earlier reading.

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An interlude.  Today’s general news is that Doris Lessing died, age 94;  this portrait to honour her: 

 

In the two initial sketches, I am fascinated by the woman’s age – 94 – and its weathered beauty.   What will be my essence when I am very old, like that?  What will yours be?  I embrace someone or something I don’t know.   “Thou art infinite:  no words can tell”.  A conversion is a conversation.  An alchemist’s daily business is to extract essence.   

She was a great lady, and I feel she passes over to become one of the Guardians.  For this reason I include this impression of her, in this SITA post.   Sketching her, I feel her a little inside, and I catch sight of an old Sufi Master.  

Doris Lessing, a Universe:  what vast universi people are!  Their immense and unique frames of discourse and of life matters and of countries, politics, sexuality and vision – rub elbows – the daily stuff of washing up and caring for her elderly son who died three weeks ago.  Death as always brings an intimate contact in the subtle body:  an appraisal:  a silent knowledge.  That soul now moves into the atoms everywhere.   Prana.   I am breathing her.  Prana is the conscious breath of Life.

In western Tarot the Sword guides destiny.  It is in Key 11 Justice, and in Key 6 The Lovers (as the Hebrew letter ZAIN: Sword).  It is also in Key 10 The Wheel – in the Sphinx’s paws.

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Additionally in the news today: the UK government at long last agreed to act, to block and close down child-abuse and child-pornography websites.  The inertia there was outrageous.

This is topical for me at present.  I suffered psychic and emotional abuse;  I know persons who were sexually abused.   The damage – particularly to a child – can retard social development, for it afflicts an area in the front of the brain.   Under attack, or under its triggers, I am mute and stupefied – the words don’t come.  Then there is an anguish that I didn’t defend myself:  that I allowed a lie.   My therapy is to write – it brings me through: it joins up broken threads.   It puts me in touch with an objective wisdom and humour; a field of insight is illumined.  True or false?

Persons who suffered or witnessed abuse, do an immense amount of inner work for the rest of their life.   The inner work, when undertaken, connects with every other individual on Gaia Earth who is doing likewise.  Paradoxically, the ordeal which initially isolates, becomes a bonding agent.   Subconsciously, we may have volunteered into this field of growth and extended humanity.  The agonizing life situations were part of the deal.   I repeat this, because it really is my bottom line.   The Black Raven – the negrido – is essential to alchemy.

raven

We never “get over the pain” – but we transform with it.  The pain of the abuse is not contained in one life, it goes back into the centuries, collectively.   To sum up what I do:  I try to bring my coals out into the light, where they slowly turn to pearls.  I shake out the old rug and let the sun get in.   It is a healing work, in solidarity with all healers.

The Tarot suit of Swords – the Sacred India Tarot’s suit of Arrows – has a difficult press, because its lessons can be painful.   The play of swords in the Creational world appears beautiful, like shards of sunlight in a forest clearing.   The process there is four-dimensioned;  it returns through an entire Mahabharath, the Gita and the song of arms, to Source:  a vast clearing-operation in history.    In this suit, Lord Krishna – avatar of Vishnu the Sustainer –  is the ultimate Dharma instrument.   The Archetype enters our world when we are in dire straits.

This is no mere fairytale.   We live out our destiny, mostly blind to its wider implications …  Behind the worst moments in my twenties, I knew an angel smiled!

An angel raises the Captive Knight from a well of lifetimes

An angel raises the Captive Knight from a well of lifetimes

In the western tradition, sword-play illustrates medieval chivalry and the quest for the Grail:  the orders of Knighthood:  the Round Table.

In the Psychological and Physical worlds, through lifetimes, I encounter those sharp points;  I make terrible errors;  I live to rue and to transmute them in space and time.  I live to grow, to understand and to become more humane.

I learn also … not to exaggerate!   but to rediscover, and keep perspective:  proportion:   compassion.

(See my Watershed Tale – The Knight )

Here is the finished card:  The Training of Bheeshma

Sacred India Tarot, 2 of Arrows - Bheeshma's training

Sacred India Tarot, 2 of Arrows – Bheeshma’s training

In the book which goes with the deck, Rohit writes:

“The young Bheeshma – known as Devavratha in his youth –  is being trained further in the martial art of Kalari-payyattu, still extant in India after millenia, by its legendary founder, the Brahmin warrior-sage Parashurama, avatar of Vishnu.

“… The irascible avatar hated the warrior caste of Kshatriyas, yet condescended to train the young prince, awed as all else were, by his supreme prowess.  Bheeshma has just fought his invincible enemy to an impasse.  This inspiring scene of the greatest master successfully transmitting his skill to his most brilliant pupil, has a calamity encoded within.”

As we saw in the Ace of Arrows, the young Bheeshma held back the Ganga waters with a raft of arrows.

“Years later, the wrathful Parashurama will come championing the cause of the Princess Amba.  His conflict with Bheeshma is a variant of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, and the very world is in danger of being consumed by such titans.

“What seems to be a moment of reconciliation and social harmony, will deepen the fissures further in the future between the dominant social classes.  The spiritually evolved Shantanu (Bheeshma’s father) seems unaware of the horrendous cost lying in ambush.  

“There is also some ambivalence in Shantanu’s admiration.  He has just realised his son will effortlessly outshine him in all aspects of life, and the knowledge must be bitter for a supreme ruler.  Some form of pain is inevitable as the Karmic price for such knowledge and ability.”

This statement concords with my sense that the Swords or Arrows “improve the breeding stock” while inflicting the pain and labour of progress and change.

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Rohit continues:  “In a reading, the Two of Arrows is an attempt to resolve insoluble conflicts:  resolute application of positive thinking against the evidence … head and heart in contention with equally compelling reasons. … Any action is better than this stuck feeling.  A curious meaning of the card is good friendships and/or imperfect reconciliations… 

“Shadow:  a stalemate or false balance in an impossible situation – extricating oneself will cause pain – this card is not known as ‘The Scissors’ for nothing … Illusion of stagnation – it is actually a time of dangerous developments – Lies told for mistaken advantage … …  What is the one thing nagging you the most, that you refuse to bring into the light of day?  Focus on solving just one thing, not everything.”

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Rohit’s reflections affirm my past experience of the Two of Swords as an impasse situation.  I love his expression: ‘the calamity encoded within’.  When I was young, I set out blithely into an extremely challenging relationship-terrain.  I am aware, while writing this post, of the pressure, the push and pull of the Archetypes, the slowly melting tension of that Two of Swords:  a symbol crash of cymbals:  the concentric fallout from that time.

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redqueen-1

“The oak tree – with the red queen pulling Alice along – is too vast to be run past, however fast you run.   The oak tree is your entire life and understanding.”  (Lighthouse Keeper Part One)

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We take our time – we do time – with what Beriah (the Upper World) creates for an instant unfolding:  space.   So the Swords above are beautiful;  and here below, they are problems, whose resolution and beauty as a whole,  is intuited just beyond the horizon.

So Jacob wrestled the Angel.

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

..

Jane Adams

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 original 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/

Three Trees of Life

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Old Kabbalist

An Old Kabbalist – from a commissioned portrait of Master Hilarion

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1:  The Tree in a Group Process

Here below,  is a Tree of Life I painted for my friend “Actaeon” in 2004.  Beginning a new series of working groups in the Tree of Life, he decided to keep the Sefiroth for the time being, blank and white.   He called it a blank glyph for the teaching – for his students’ inner experience to furnish for themselves, and for himself also, to learn from them.   The teaching is two-way. Some of them had not studied Kabbalah previously.

As the teaching and sharing process entered the Tree of Life day by day, it was fascinating to observe how – spontaneously – the archetypes and laws of nature fell into place.

The idea is that we learn from our inner attention, creativity and relationships, far more than by the book.   So the Sefiroth – the Emanations – and symbols, were left open.

The group is an intimate and interactive one.  It travels up and down the Tree on an interior Journey.   It combines in a dynamic way, dream work, visualisation, yoga, chanting, Kabbalist teaching, therapy, healing and group sharing.  The aim is to integrate body, soul and spirit as a group vessel, invoking the holistic beauty of the Tree.  It addresses the wounds between masculine and feminine.  It is an oral teaching, and it refreshes and deepens itself perennially.  It is guided through the Tree of Life, and it is not written.

Tree of Life 2004 - blank teaching glyph

Tree of Life 2004 – blank teaching glyph

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For this year’s Circle, Actaeon asked me if I felt able to paint in the Sefiroth, as the group is by now well established.  I did this over the weekend, using acrylic colours.  I listened – and danced – to the Pink Floyd  “Dark Side of the Moon“.   I had not done any painting for a while, and I was out of practice.   The contact awoke.

The Sefiroth “pictures” – see below – follow a visualisation process up the Tree of Life, for this particular group.   Malkuth is a garden, Yesod a cave and Hod is the library.  Netzach is a tree whose wood we enter.  Hod and Netzach represent our biological mother and father – the relationship dialogue.

Tifareth is the meeting with our Inner Teacher, in the triad of the Soul.   Gevurah is a fiery dragon;   Hesed is a pyramid of ice which melts in the heart and releases our nature towards compassion and forgiveness.  To it I added instinctively the Swan – Hamsa, the bird of Brahma.   The swan’s shape echoes that of Jupiter.   In Vedic astrology, Brahma is the deity of Jupiter, who is “Guru” – dispeller of the soul’s dark night.  In Vedanta, the swan is the cream of the milk.  Jnana, knowledge, floats on the lake of bhakti, devotion.

The non-Sefira Daat is a quantum leap, from Hesed (Love and Expansion) to Binah (Understanding).  As the Karmic knots which bind, are cut, the group journeys in the “chariot” or Merkabah.  Daat is the Greater Mystery behind the Tree and within each Sefira, where dimensions touch.

The darkness on which the Tree appears is En Sof – “without end”.  Binah is the womb of the Great Mother:  Hokhmah is the seminal Father, and Kether is the Holy One.

(My earlier post – https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-chakras-part-1-the-journey/ – contains more detail.  See also The Seven Year Cycles on the Tree of Life.)

I used the traditional Queen Scale colours – the tones of the Sefiroth as perceived in Beriah, World of Creation.  The four colours in Malkuth – russet, citrine, slate and olive – are the elements: fire, air, water, earth.  At their centre is the Akasha-Tejas Tattva – red Mars triangle in Indigo Saturn oval.  The root and navel chakras when linked this way, and integrated, are a subtle key.  It rises into the heart from the heart of Earth’s core of solar energy. It opens the interior Gold of Alchemy.

The descending Water triangle in Yesod (personal) and the integrated Seal of Solomon at Tifareth (the Self), are self explanatory.

Tree of Life 2004 - with Sefiroth filled in, November 2013

Tree of Life 2004 – with Sefiroth filled in, November 2013

Unfortunately this painting is difficult to photograph – the colours don’t come through well.  I need a more sophisticated camera.  So here are the newly-painted Sefiroth, in close-up, to show their detail:  click on them to open the Gallery.

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4 Jacobs Ladder for Actaeon

This is a Jacobs Ladder I painted for Actaeon in 2004.  It shows the Four Worlds – Emanation, Creation, Formation and Physical, as interlocking Trees of Life.  The divine thread on which they are strung, from heaven to earth, is known as the KAV – the centre axis.

“The KAV, or middle column line of Divine presence that permeates Existence, makes up what is seen as the fifth ‘Great Tree’.  (11 Sefiroth, Malkuth to Kether). Together with the forty Sefiroth of the four Trees, they make the Fifty Gates spoken of in some texts.”

Zev ben Shimon Halevi, The Path of a Kabbalist

The Four Trees superimpose through Tifareth at each level.  In the real Universe, all phenomena interpenetrate.  The vision of the Four Worlds was described by the prophet Ezekiel;  it has been rendered in various ways, and can be interpreted concentrically.   Through the shells of Earth’s crust, the forces of nature, seasonal cycle and human growth … the Tree’s sacred geometry lends itself to the Flower of Life in any direction.

At that time, I did not want to label the Sefiroth, or cover the diagram with descriptions and words, but to let my thought remain in colour and be silent.

the tree in flower of life ja

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On the left is a template.  The arrows show that we ascend AND descend the Lightning-flash:  as above, so below.  On the right, the Tree for Actaeon’s group process begins in Malkuth, with the Zodiac signs corresponding to the planetary positions on that day.  This horary chart on the Tree gave us subtle data of the group dynamics, and whether to emphasise feeling or the intellect.  With Cancer ascendent, the feeling nature predominates, and is given space to find its tempo.  With Scorpio at Tifareth, Hod and Binah, hidden wounds are likely to come to light, for healing.

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A tree in Devon - Malkuth, showing three paths from the base

A tree in Devon – Malkuth, showing three paths from the base

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2:  An Applied Tree of Life

Halevi teaching

Readers of Zev ben Shimon Halevi’s books will appreciate the way he – a practical Capricorn philosopher, with Moon in Gemini – applies the Tree of Life to hundreds of situations and developments in everyday life, in government and in history.  His drawings demonstrate how the principle works.

Here is a typical example.  My fellow student Jonathon gives monthly Astrology classes.  In one of them, he showed us on the Tree, the process of a buyout he is involved in, in the business world.   It had just reached completion.  It was fascinating to hear him explain and demonstrate the pattern of thesis and antithesis, agreements and setbacks since 2008, through the global financial crisis:  the delayed but timely exchange of contracts, after a period of reflection:   the accurate realisation of the whole.   He was in awe, himself.

Here is my drawing – a copy of what Jonathon showed us on his screen.

A Tree of Life showing the process of a business merger in financial services, over a period of some years - the process down the zig zag lightning flash from Kether (conceiving the project) to Malkuth (completion).

A Tree of Life showing the process of a business merger in financial services, over a period of some years – the process down the zig zag lightning flash from Kether (conceiving the project) to Malkuth (completion).

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3:  An Astrological Landscape

A good way perhaps, to landscape your own!

A painting of Christopher’s chart on the Tree – An inspiration perhaps, to visualise and landscape your own!

He has:  Malkuth in Virgo (the whole lower landscape with its Companions), Yesod and Hod in Capricorn, with the goat and rock strata, Netzach in Scorpio – (where still waters run deep), Tifareth in Sagittarius, Gevurah in Virgo, Hesed in Taurus, Binah in Aquarius, Hokhmah in Virgo and Kether in Scorpio.

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Friendship in Winter

Friendship in Winter

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As I “sister” alongside Actaeon’s group work, the theme emerging there, is:  to begin – always and again!  to heal deep wounds of the Mother, the feminine – in our ancestors, our daughters, sons and brothers, and in life right now.  Scorpio, with the leaves turning brilliant and sinking into the ground, is a time of concentration.  There is no end to taking the Light into the shadow.

woman unveiled

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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/

The Tarka Trail, a Red Book, and a Lamp

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Bike under my kitchen table

Bike under my kitchen table

This post is linked to an earlier one last year – a poem-of-eclipse (1999) about my father and his violin: see  A Tendency of Concentric Rings.

Tarka Trail

For many years, I wondered if it was possible to visit Peter by bike from Bideford in North Devon.  He was getting too old to drive, and could no longer fetch me from the National Express bus.  It is about 15 miles inland, and very hilly.

I bought my fold-up bike for this purpose, six months ago.  But National Express run only one bus daily from London:  it takes five hours, and the evenings are dark too early now, for a long bike ride to my anxious parent.   I discovered the travel timetable is much more flexible – one every hour – if I take the TRAIN to Barnstaple – another eight miles further to ride.   It costs a lot more than the bus, but who cares!

The Tarka bike trail was opened up as a conservation project along a disused rail track. It follows the coast line from Barnstaple, then bends through Bideford into the Torrington district, all the way down to Petrockstowe.  The railway was closed in the 1970s.

Tarka Trail Barnstaple to Petrockstowe (red dotted line - about 21 miles.)  The train (Tarka Line) travels up to Barnstaple along the  river - centre wriggly line, which shows the road.

Tarka Trail Barnstaple to Petrockstowe (red dotted line – about 21 miles.) The train (Tarka Line) travels up to Barnstaple from Exeter along the river and the green A377 road – centre wriggly line. Then the Tarka Trail sets off from Barnstaple station into the sky, the dunes and salt marshes of the Taw estuary and the sea.

Tarka is the name of the otter in Henry Williamson’s novel, who was born and died along the Torridge river.  The entire region is alive with the Tarka mythos.  I always wanted to see the spectacularly beautiful river region between Bideford and Torrington.  The old railway gradient ensures no steep hills!

You can hire bikes on the Tarka Trail website, or on the spot at Barnstaple Station, Bideford and the Puffing Billy.   Mine folds up, so I took it on the train.

Bike last spring, near St Albans

Bike last spring, near St Albans – with Roman ruin

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23 October 2013, near Buckland Filleigh

... Nearing my father’s house on its hilltop at dusk, hot and sweaty from the climb, soft thrum of the wind in the air, and an ever changing sky like the sea.  Woodlands feather the fields; delicious the huge quiet, sweet the smell and to be the sky, the open scent of cows.    I thought of my old Letter on the Gate poem:

Above a hidden loop of the sour Torridge river 
– brown and sleeping snake – 
coppice of toughened oak and beech 
with cow parsley’s tryst entangle; 
and on high rough meadows 
the rush pricked pasture 
is dotted with dry flakes of dung. 

To Dartmoor’s wide wing 
cloud-borne in the southern sky, 
acorn tufted slow sheep-back hills 
undulate an inland sea: 
and on the road from Sheepwash to Shebbear 
I found a notice on a field-gate, 
white paper pinned: 

a local dance, skittles champion, an eyesore planning procedure perhaps:  
or addressed to the Winsford Hospital League of Friends?”

Jim Ede and ...?

Jim Ede and …?

Idly I glance;  then widened eyes – 
an open letter is posted for all to see, 
fresh in the late Jim Ede’s 
unmistakable economy script … “

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The poem goes on, it was based on a vivid dream-vision in 1999, which carried many depth messages and ancestral themes.   Jim was my grandfather – Peter’s father-in-law.

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Apart from that, Peter and I have an interesting relationship:  he is like a guide.  He points to my path – a book I should read, or something he is interested in – without either of us realising how significant the detail will be for me.   It  happens when I visit him, and is always unexpected.

The journey in a nice chug-a-chug local train from Exeter to Barnstaple along the single-track Tarka Line, and then by bike along the 20-mile trail to Marland, was ROMANTIC beyond my expectation.  It awoke in my memory the recalled delight.   The drivers of the up and down trains stop and exchange keys for the single track between Eggesford and Umberleigh.

Later on … the hills, the lush woods, the brown river, the legends of the otters and of Victorian engineering, the gradient of the old railway line as it rises and falls, a high level aqueduct canal the Victorians built, and their ingenuity in “ramping” the 40 foot descent to the tidal-level lock;  the song of the place names dear to Henry Williamson – all sprang to life and love again.  It is among the most beautiful and secretive landscape in Britain.

My bike ride – with frequent stops to admire the view and the river – took nearly four hours, and by the time I was climbing through the old woods near Torrington to the hilltops and a familiar view of Dartmoor, I was very tired.   But I cheered up again with the gradient descending, and reached Dunsbear Halt – more scruffy than in the online photo.  A remote lane on the map crosses it – the line continues down to Petrockstowe.  I turned off to the right just after 5 pm, to toil the open hills.  In Devon just when you think you are reaching the top of a hill, it tosses its head.  It was heart warming to begin to recognise the lie of the farmland around my father’s care-home – the little tower beacon at 500 feet on a nearbye skyline curve, a fringe of larch forest, a dip of fields and zinc-roof barns.   Then, with dusk about to fall, the familiar lane towards Buckland Filleigh – I had found it!.

I rode into the farm – now a care home for the elderly, and for “supported living”, staffed by local good-wives, and the long root-runners of regional gossip.  The young entrepreneur who runs it, lives like a creeping buttercup.  He and his family are established in farms and cottages throughout the district, and thrive.  The care home has an excellent reputation, and runs on bio-fuels.  They had a very poor alfalfa harvest this year, so the place is running on wood-chip at present.

Later, I went up a ladder in one of the barns, to look at the process.   It moved, alive and warm in the vast woodchip pile, like a dragon!   A half hid wheel with wings slowly turned and rustled in the depths, as it laboriously ate the collapsing fuel:  the whole pile in slow motion:  warmth and sound – the serpent moves.

the old piggery

Peter’s self contained cottage is a converted piggery with a pitched roof, skylights and attractive timbers.   His arm waving in his kitchen window – his shout, Hooray!    A dyed-in-the wool Capricorn (like myself), he was waiting there for the last 15 minutes.   I rang him from the narrow lane at Dunsbear Halt.   I arrived just in time for tea.   He is nearly 91, and his heart weakens steadily and gives him trouble and anxiety.   But he looks well.   He is less puffy round the eyes, than when I saw him last.   His facial contour emerges in a different way, it has refined.  He might die at any time.   How will that feel?   We didn’t discuss it till the end of my visit.  He said for him there is no death.  One becomes “everything” rather than the single imagined “particular”.  But the physical body gets instinctively panicky.

“Listen to this,” he said again.  “One night I was told – I had to get out of bed and find my glasses and go to my desk and write it down – I was told by a Voice, very clearly – I am … You are … a particle-ar expressing of the Universal energy.  There is no separation.”

Then he reminded me, he joined a London buddhist Sangha back in 1957 or so, when we were living in Surrey.  He went to the Sangha leader, tense with questions about enlightenment and how to live.  The Sangha leader had a little room with nothing in it at all. He sat in his robe, looked up and said, “The Past is Over.  The Future has not come yet.  The Present is Now.  DO NOT WASTE IT”.

Don’t waste it.

To travel the contour satisfies the soul.  In modern high-speed trains, I feel nothing and I am cocooned and cut off, and I just want the journey to end.  The faster it goes, the longer it seems to take, and I only want to arrive.  In local bone rattlers I am in the present with the journey, and I see and feel everything: the wheels, the rails, my body, the passengers, the view;  there is no time.  The sun came out in my inner life, with an amazed smile.

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I didn’t think to take my camera.  Perhaps this is just as well, because my journey would have taken twice as long.  These online images of the trail must suffice.  The rest of the photos in this post, are my old ones.

Impressions – non-chronological, but just as they come – of my ride:  a hire-bikes cafe deep in the woods called The Puffing Billy.  A lean youth in a hat and curly hair, broad Devon, potters affably, and his spaniel chews a rubber ball with ecstatic expectancy.  Here I enjoyed a tub of Cornish ice-cream and a flapjack, while admiring the power of the swollen brown river below, through steep forest.  Not far off is the titanic roar of the small falls, where salmon sometimes leap.   It was lovely to keep hearing the swirl and shout of the flooded brown waters.   The river winds and twists in a bewildering series of steeply engraved ox bows and sudden emerald meadows.  Wherever you come upon it, the current runs now to the left, then to the right.  Peter says the whole geology lifted while the river was carving its alluvian bed.

The ride goes through a tunnel or two, which was fun.  The beautiful oval bricklaying is illumined by regular lamps – the darkness, then the russet, ochre and olive splendour of the curve, the detail – like an alchemical secret in the bowels.

There are stopping points, with maps to illustrate the wildlife, the human history and the source – near the waterfall and the raised canal – where Tarka the Otter was born and began his journey.  The water, the stone and the woods are incredibly atmospheric.  There are footpaths away from the path, to climb, stalk and dream along.   Further down the trail  are startling sculptures of seated souls – or conversing otters? – decorated in lively mosaic by local school children – a strip-cartoon Henry Moore series, among the alder and the oaks.

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More memories:  Setting out from Barnstaple against the wind, the dead straight lane into the enormous question of sky-weather, estuary, marshlands and the bumpy brown Burrows of Braunton across the water, was rather formidable with my long, unknown journey ahead.  As when beginning to climb a rock face, you don’t give up with one hold.  One leads to another.  You just keep going,  until you are the whole journey:  the flow and knowledge of each ledge and hold of the rock face.

So I keep pushing the pedals round and round until the landscape and horizons are embodied.   It is my life.   Being nearly 65, an instinct in my body is fearful, and protests.   The instinct is frightened my bike might break down, or I might be very late, and my father will worry.

Path

Path near Buckland Filleigh

Yarde is the last old station before Dunsbear Halt.  I was told at Puffing Billy back near Torrington, there is a really good cup of coffee at Yarde.  But the cafe was closed;  a middle aged hairy hobbit busy rebuilding some steps … a round-house in the garden (they put up travellers) … a remote and tender furred flow of landscape … a slight fall of the gradient just ahead, to rest in top gear, after a long slow climb.

The lane is metalled and smooth from Barnstaple to Torrington, but by Torrington where it enters the old woodland, it is a path of dark gravel, puddles and old leaves; and discreet posters at each crossroads or historic halt, proclaim the North Devon Biosphere project.

Passing Bideford – a strange North Devon “Riviera” with its terraced small city, elderly bridge and boats – was enchanting, as I left the coast and went into the unknown interior.   From the direction of far-off Marland came huge rain clouds against the sun, and a spattering drift of shower here and there;  yet they seemed to disperse and break up, on meeting sea currents.   Light spilled, glowed and was veiled.

I passed hikers, bikers and dog walkers.   Every single person smiled.

The Tarka Trail and its maintenance is part of a project to promote a conscious ecology.   It transformed the old railtrack – which began to close in the 1970s – into a sylvan liberation, a new way of life.  Some landowners along the route at first refused to allow the way to be opened, so there was a tussle, which the Trust won.   In its full length the Tarka Trail is the longest maintained bike path in Britain, off the road all the way.   It links with cross country hiking trails almost as long, to the west and towards Exmoor in the east.

Young cattle near Buckland Filleigh.  Buckland Filleigh is a curiously sinister grey mansion and chapel on a wooded hill.   In it, conferences and training-courses are held.  It would make a marvellous centre for a whodunnit series.

Young cattle near Buckland Filleigh. Buckland Filleigh is a curiously sinister grey mansion and chapel on a wooded hill. In it, conferences and training-courses are held. It is a splendid location for a whodunnit series incorporating the gossip-lines all over the countryside; the old peoples’ care home nearbye – where the prime suspects are! – and remote farms in frost-pockets off the grid.

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24 October  Red Book

The dew is heavy this morning, and spiders covered the frames of each window with perfect jewelled webs that blow in the breeze.  Last night we walked out and saw all the stars come out, including two shooting stars, the tail end of a meteor shower, as the sky deepened to darkest night.  First we spotted Cassiopaeia, then the Plough and the North Star;  then the Little Bear;  then the long smudge of the Milky Way as the gloaming deepened to black … a diamond-studded galaxy.  But no sign of Orion!  Perhaps he was still climbing from the horizon’s haze.   My daughter rang up and sounded happy and said she wants to do this ride with me, to Grandpa’s.  We shall have a beer when I get back.

Patina

Patina

Yesterday I visited another resident, who lives in the converted barn. He is bipolar, and said he has been ill for 40 years. We talked about his condition and how frightening it gets when he is high, and how he misses Dulverton.  I liked his landscape paintings on the walls of his spacious quarters – he is wealthy.

We discussed Jung a bit, and he cheered up with my company and made me a good cup of tea –  and fetched his copy of THE RED BOOK and lent it to me while I am here.

The mysterious – The Red Book is my Miracle manifested.  It is a great slab of pure red gold.   He bought it on Amazon a year ago, but hasn’t been able to look at it much.  It cost nearly £100.  I shall buy one as soon as I get home.  It is every bit as important as getting  new specs to see properly with.  Isn’t it amazing to touch, and see Jung’s paintings and inner mosaic – his alchemical journey from the dark into the light – and to have that process to read and absorb, as I begin my new work.   I had heard something on the grapevine, but didn’t know it is published in full facsimile, with translation and history.

Jung & his house at Bollingen

Jung is so much more than the founder of Jungian psychoanalysis.  He is a Paracelsus reborn, and the composite of many great medicine sages before that.  He is depth.  He embodied the twentieth century Conscience, with all its Shadow;  he holds the medicine-Staff.  As I knew well during my 1980s odyssey, I stood on his shoulders, and where I went was because of where he had been.  He faced Baphomet and illumined the Way.

One of the paintings in the Red Book is a great face, mosaic’d in graded squares of blue and violet, with down turned mouth and great inward eyes, like many of Jung’s interior Companions.  The expression is how my old friend Elisabeth looked:  the down turned “jungian” intensity is classic – a medieval priest embodies a path of Awe in the other realm.  Without a doubt, Elisabeth today steers me to this treasure, and to learn to become an art-therapist, like she did when she was my age.   She met Jung when she was much younger.

The above drawing was done after Jung visited and spoke to me in a dream.   In my dream, we met in a secluded garden near a house.  I showed him four drawings arranged in a square;  at least two were new portraits of him – (which I hadn’t ‘done’.) He looked at them carefully, and asked me would I please xerox him a copy?

Thus prompted, I drew it “for him” the following day.   Here it is, above; and here is another.

Jung with pipe

He visits me again, and nudges.  Carl Gustav Jung you teach me, as I want to learn to guide others.   There are some unmistakable signs and symbols around at present.  You, the 20th century in full, come from deep history, a greater and wilder depth and breadth than is generally realised on the surface … greater than even you were aware of, in Yesod.

I knew just one thing about the Red Book, as described in Memories, Dreams, Reflections – it is the abyss, the ferment from which your life’s great work, and all the academic studies, emerged.   The Red Book and the Seven Sermons to the Dead (which I have) are your creative foundation.   It is the crucible:  the rest is for linear consumption.    Elisabeth Tomalin gave me her copy of the Seven Sermons.

Elisabeth Tomalin

The Red Book is the painstaking aesthetic completion – in hand script and with all the illuminations and paintings – of what was scribbled down in Jung’s Black Books.   The Red Book was an artist’s great labour to build a monument, a Gothic cathedral.  It took decades to finish, and it is not complete.   It breaks off mid-sentence.

It seems to have begun during the Great War.  It was born from a black depression which Jung feared was psychotic;  during which he continued his clinical work, and to support his family.   His capacity was to travel, to imagine, to visualise and to remember, profoundly.  The Great Archetypes of the Styx cohered into sub-personalities, psychopomps and sages.  I remember how impressed I was in the 1980s, to read about his deep, deep dives into the ocean, at his desk – into the collective Unconscious, opening the way.  He tumbled backwards into it, like a diver, down and down:  then he painted and wrote it forth.

The Red Book emerges as the secret Fire from the great black slabs of his depression, and from the two great Wars of that era.

fountain of life

fountain of life

I used to imagine him sitting at his desk, his study, and closing his eyes and descending from there into the collective unconscious, as he journeyed.  He might be in the Underbeing for hours – his family would not disturb him.  I think it happened as he wrote.  He wrote and painted it forth.  Like Paul Foster Case touching base with Master R, Jung in his black and red books and the Seven Sermons, laid the psychic foundation … on which he would build and fill in all the volumes of his academic work, shelf after shelf, room after room.

When a house is built, a concrete foundation is poured.   When a new psychology is developed, the contact is poured, a serpentine drift of luminous colour and profundity:  the seeing in the dark.

Jung’s artistic cliché is a Celtic-christian ornamentation, rather serpentine.   These curly motifs appear in nearly all his work.   The colours and their intricate labour and subtlety are extraordinary, like medieval stained glass.  They are serpentine.   Some of the images are wonderfully disturbing.  My father took a look, and said they are phallic.   Jung began having visions of the European Fate when he was a little child.

8n Stone and Jung

One of the volumes: “Modern Man in Search of a Soul

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Depression is a great slab of confinement which either captures the soul in its dream for forty years or more, OR releases the Keys to travel and liberation under the slab.  Eventually they grow up and through and crack the slab like flowers.   The Keys are always offered, but few have the ability to accept and use them.   Depression is a locked-in creative potential, not really an illness.

Jung’s Great Keys are of fluid iron, and wrought into floral patterns.  I am sure he began his visionary paintings and mandalas by doodling first, these patterns behind his eyes, and slowly, obsessively colouring them in;  he descended into the dark;  the mandalas and the statements grew into colour, organically, expanding outward into Themes, Archetypes, Great Shadows and his guide, Philemon.

The Key is the devoted precision in outlining the strange shapes behind the eyes.  It was the way I worked also.   It is the way I shall try to follow again – my signature – and encourage others to follow their own, in due course.

Another similarity is that in some of his paintings are made-up hieroglyphs.   They resemble my made-up hieroglyphs.  The fascinating pressure – of ancient forgotten languages – is engraved in the Subconscious Stone.

outgrow the gods

outgrow the gods

Underbeing & topsoil

Underbeing and the topsoil person 1988

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Suddenly I have the secret of his Sermons to the Dead:  the contact he called up:  the neglected mythos.  The living stone awakens through the grave.   Tolkien did this, too, in The Return of the King.

Discovery such as this, is ongoing, day by day:  the state of discovery tends to overlay and conceal its items, as it steams along.  It is a level of living:  the passion swiftly leaves the past behind.   But in the quiet hallmark of the Red Book and the converging Jungian hints recently, and the fact that my father introduced me to Jung (though it isn’t his way at all) – (he gave me Laurens Van der Post’s biography of Jung for my 37th birthday) – is a gathering together of threads.  For me, Peter tends to be a Messenger where major signposts stand.   He is there at the crossroads.   When he dies, I will find him still welcoming me at the crossroads, and passing it on.

Peter – whose process is somewhat more Zen:  he attends to the NOW –  observed rather stiffly that Jung seemed unable to escape Christianity.  Paradoxically, the items Peter passed over to me were usually Christian – like Jung … and the sacred geometry of Notre-Dame … an article in Resurgence about quantum-physics alchemy.   Peter was raised a Catholic and rejected it during the war.

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26 October     Return

Home again.  Another equally wonderful long ride yesterday – Petrockstowe to Barnstaple, stopping from time to time, to read the history, talk to people and look around at where Tarka was born – near the waterfall and a little downstream from the stone canal-viaduct bridge:  also to understand the ingenuity of the architecture in the raised canal, its ghostly remains, and the steep inclined bit at Rolle where the clever Victorians cranked the watery conduit and its traffic up and down 40 feet between the woods and the riverbed.   The young guy mending bikes at the Puffing Billy told me one of his mates saw an otter today – they are coming back.  Salmon leap up the falls sometimes;  the otters like to eat them.  My daughter saw the leaping salmon once, when Peter took her for a drive/walk up the Torrington valley.

The weather all the way averted the sharp showers around Buckland Filleigh – just a faint spatter here and there, from far off;  warm blue sky and swift cotton clouds.   It was an easy ride up the line from Petrockstowe to Dunsbear – hardly any gradient.  I pretended I am on a Kabbalistic journey, and I “went up the Tree”.   I have the map in my body and being.   I am an old train.

I stopped at Bideford Station on the trail, for a bite – where a retired railway carriage is parked.  An elderly lady from Manchester runs the cafe in it;  she made me a delicious bacon bap and coffee, and I basked in the nostalgia of the crafted older trains with proper seats and windows (the modern cattle trucks insult their passengers) and took away two free Bideford newspapers.   Bideford is the Riviera-regatta of North-west Devon.   The revisit is enchanting.    I crossed the river and rode around the bright old town.   It was the gateway towards our family holidays on the Hartland coast, fifty years ago.

At Instow sands, I walked out across them to the water’s edge, little waves.   The brisk wind knocked Bike over, and nearly blew away my shoes – I had to run after them.

Instow sands looking across to Appledore - a Victorian painting

Instow sands looking across to Appledore – a Victorian painting

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The hardest bit of the journey is the Barnstaple estuary because it is very exposed to the wind, and endlessly straight.  Footpaths off it invite you to the wild life sanctuary along the water-lands, which was reclaimed and nurtured by a Gaia society since the war.   This is an exploration for next time.   Along this five-mile part of the route, you have to be the sky and keep plodding.

Unknown-3

When I arrived at the station, there was a train waiting, the guard said “Come.”   Bike and I hopped on, and off we went, back up the River Taw and down the River Something-or-other to the Exe and Exeter.  All the rivers were brown and swollen with huge rains, the trees waded in them, almost spilling into the bright green fields.   More rough weather arrives this weekend.

At Exeter there was only a ten minute wait for the Duchy of Cornwall to London, which was full up, everyone standing and disconsolate.   Here I discovered I had lost my purse, containing memory-stick and dongle.   The only place I could have dropped it was at the train cafe in Bideford when paying for my bacon bap.   Trying not to fret, during the long stand-up two and a half hours to London … how to contact that nice old woman in Bideford through the Tarka Trail management …

At home I cancelled my debit card, but at the end of the evening I FOUND my purse in the blue rucsac – where I had searched before, unable to see or find it in the hugger mugger cattle-express.

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Conversation

Conversation

An Old Man and a Lamp

I know a young woman who got trapped in a broken lift with a powerful persuasive personality.  The P.P.P. installed his voice and his beliefs in her Systems Preferences.  Now the lift is getting repaired …

Mixed metaphor of being trapped in a lift with a maniac – and of the way a programme installed in her operating system is being gently de-installed; for re-programming.   The System board on our computer is where we have all our settings of time, memory, security etc.  Doesn’t this happen an awful lot in difficult relationships?

When I wrote “trapped in a lift” up there, I mistyped “life” – life with a maniac.   Most of us live with our Inner Maniac in some form or another;  and fine ideas get nowhere.  The Maniac might be projected grotesquely onto our environment;  when we meet and fall in step with someone who is abusive.   The inner Maniac is a negative archetype – something we came to believe in.   Now comes a working insight:  going back long before the pattern of abuse manifested …  what, in the soul’s hinterland, brought to the foreground this particular Maniac?

I got a feel for it just now, like the wind on my wetted finger.    Psychotherapy can touch the place, by feeling and holding that interior thread as it comes to life; and becoming response-able to it.   The language may be a past-life memory, or it may be existential, beyond speech.  Therapy with a wise counsellor, is as transmutative as the Alchemy which self-hears.   It is the same process.

Jung sat down with his clients, and they investigated the subconscious together, like two old philosophers.

If you begin to feel safe with someone, there are lurching episodes when you don’t;  and that is where the living thread – the fishing net – is tested.

Something profound in my subconscious, born to receive the Laws of Karmic justice, welcomed the presence of a Maniac in my life, and in someone else’s.   I see that influence now, and I see its victim, not as someone I think I know, but as the greater part whose history I don’t know, the part which entered my life stream with its own burden and agenda.   The confluence made me the richer in understanding, and broke many shells.

I speak enigmatically.   Insights arise, which I want to share right now, but confidences are kept. The bearing of a heavy Karmic burden is yet a centre of gravity and truth, and it inspires respect and affection.

oak and ivy

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I am reluctant to write about people I am close to.  I am shy to, without asking them.  I select matters of common interest – things which happen to us all.

We had a really good relaxed time together.   His lungs are a bit watery.   We took the keyboard action out of the Basche piano – it is a Petrof baby grand, made by his Czech grandfather for a wedding-present to his wife – and filed the small knobs of lead in between each wooden key inside, with a nail-file, so they won’t stick.   They tend to swell in damp weather.   Then I gave the whole inside a good clean – a century’s small dust and lead-particles!   My great-great grandfather positioned the wood sections under the keyboard, now clean and good as new:  his handiwork, his touch.

The whole task required concentration, especially our accurate coordination together to lift the heavy action back into the frame.  Concentration on the job at hand, third eye focus, is really a simple key to everything.   Skill is wellbeing;  and skill is application.

I had a few happy hours with some new favourite bits in the Beethoven sonatas.   Spell them carefully, concentrating with the finger detail, and sometimes getting it nearly right;   climb the amateur mountain towards the astounding spiritual beauty of Beethoven’s musical thought.  He jotted it down as he walked and shouted in all weathers, among wet trees with an open coat.   I  dreamed once I met him too, in an underground room.  He had a small daughter, who had already lived so deeply it was beyond telling, in her eyes.

The Basche Petrof is a lively beast – the action takes some mastering;  the bass octaves growl;  a lyrical voice is coaxed forth surprisingly, dusky with the depth and song of old Beethoven.   This piano had a hard time when it lived in the damp Pittbridge valley:  it does a lot better on the hilltop with discreet underfloor heating.

Allegro from the Funeral March Sonata opus 26

Allegro from the Funeral March Sonata opus 26

The Petrof

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My father calls the care home where he lives, “the community.” It has a lush green garden, a couple of stunted old oaks, and a few young apple saplings drop fruit.   Around the main farmhouse live three or four elderly and independent folk in their barns and piggeries.  Inside the house is a convivial bedsheet chaos of the demented, the bedridden, and the lonely dying.  The place prospers with friendly root fibres all over the region, linking to farms and villages.  They have good cooks, and a cheery Devon staff, and the architectural conversion is excellent – but carrying my father’s dinner tray back to the kitchen in the main house, I skidded on mud and the dishes went flying!    When Peter first moved there, the manager rigged up a video link from a nest of young blackbirds in the garden to all the TV sets – it was rolling news.   But the residents in their armchairs dozed.   When Peter was stronger, he helped with the garden roses, and pruned fruit trees in nearby farms.

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lamp outline

We saw his neighbour again for tea.   He got out a pile of his watercolours to show us.  He also read out some poems he wrote when he was high.

When it is acute, it is indeed incommunicable.   Depression is an obsession with oneself.   Depression is an inability to concentrate on anything else, and the sufferer gets shut out from humanity.

I found the poems authentic, deep and interesting.   But for a tiny neural imbalance and the ignorance in medical and family conditioning, the sad old poet had access to The Path.  He said that during his “episodes” he starts to “save the world”.  I know that feeling, and  the intense sorrow of its non-viability.  Nowadays the drugs knock it down:  a culture of addiction and isolation, which knows no other way at the moment.  I gave him my address to keep in touch.

It is astonishing to find the red book in the barn.  Before the barn was converted, and the poet came to live there, it was full of old zimmer frames, spare walking sticks and puddles from a leaky roof.   The red book glows and shines forth from within the depression, just as it came forth from Jung’s dark night of the soul.   The depression is a slab which covers the secret fire, until it is ripe.   The depression is a charcoal burner.   Inside it there are pictures …

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The Secret Dakini Oracle 37 represents TWO fires.  The fire in the background consumes the Earth (planet).  The flame in the foreground is a crucible of the Self, observing the other.   There is a radical letting go – a burning up – of past confinements and attachments.

Lamps get rubbed and release genies.   Dark,dirty lamps.

Most of the old poet’s landscapes are Devon and Exmoor scenes – knotted trees, fields and the colourful personalities of cattle.   He did a farming life.  In some of his more manic and radiant watercolours, he sketched a lamp of the soul – an oil lamp, clear and lit.  He fetched from another room the lamp which is their model.  I remembered the sound, the glass and chink of old oil lamps in cottages which didn’t have “the electric”.   Such a lamp with its glass amber glow, took us upstairs to bed.

The poet’s lamp was spotless clear and clean.  It is dormant.   It is in his life.

The issue of rubbing old lamps, and releasing the genie, is interesting.  The image was in my Watershed dreams from time to time, in the 1970s.   Old lanterns! – a pile of them – and old water-jars;  and changing the light-bulbs in hell.

The lamp is covered with Karmic smoke, and when Aladdin rubs it, out jumps an unknown genie in a snaky whirl of smoke and light, who asks him what he desires.

The genies are denizens of the soul.  Their first appearance can be very scary and unpredictable.

butterlamp - Version 2

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Secret Dakini Oracle 27 – The Magic Carpet – takes us to the Arabian fables and Tales of the Lamp.

When I discover the Treasury of the Self, as Aladdin did with his Lamp, I then decide and learn how I will handle it for the rest of my life.   Learn the psychology of my wishes, and what they bring forth.

self portrait, 1975

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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 – posts about Master R and “What is Love?”

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/

B.O.T.A.Tarot – Buttercups and Bluebells

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Primrose_pin

In my B.O.T.A. studies today, I looked at Keys 1 and 2 – the Magician and the Priestess – to imprint their colour tones and musical pitch.  The Magician’s is bright yellow: the frequency is E natural.  The Priestess is deep sea blue: G-sharp.  Through them shine a little, the complementaries of 3 and 4 – the Empress and Emperor, who are green and red.    And there is the Fool, Key 0:  the adventurer in every Key.  His colour is pale primrose yellow, the tone of the Spirit.

A buttercup field:  a bluebell wood.

Tarot Keys 1/yellow and 2/blue, with the complementaries green/3 and red/4, showing through.  Additionally - Key 0 the Fool, who is in all the Keys - the adventure of the creative work

Tarot Keys 1/yellow and 2/blue, with the complementaries green/3 and red/4, showing through. Additionally – Key 0 the Fool, who is in all the Keys – the adventure of the creative work

The Magician, with his focus on the garden, begins a task.  He is our self-conscious intention, and on the Cube of Space, he is the top surface:  the Above.

Nothing can be done without the Priestess.  She is our subconscious, reflecting the Magician’s input,  recording and delivering everything he put there, or is able to modify.   She is the bottom surface of the Cube:  the Below.   She rises like a fountain or a well, through the garden.  She holds half-hidden, the Tora – the Akashic scroll.

Linking them, through the Cube’s interior vertical axis, is The Fool:  our supra-conscious or divine nature.  From womb to tomb he is our creative Adventurer, or Alchemist, and he dances inside the World.

I want to keep this post as brief as possible, and let the pictures and their colours speak.  I come back again and again, to the Cube of Space.  Each face, corner, edge and interior axis of the Cube has its own Tarot key, compass direction, and colour resonance.  The geometry of the Cube is a three-dimensional Seal of Solomon:  a pair of Tetrahedrons:  the hexagonal grouping of the sun’s rays.  All our life is in the Cube of nature, whatever we build.  The points of the compass are six – N,E,W,S;  Above and Below.

Diagram, cube, weathercock

Doing mental “colour saturations” is good for training and concentration.  My concentration became very poor, lately.  It is all over the place.  My colour practice is helped by visualizing daffodils – or buttercups! – bluebells … red geranium … violet pansy or iris … and so on.   Flowers are the colours which glow:  the gems of the soul which flow.   It is enough to make the intention strong.  The result grows organically.

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Since my earliest interest in Tarot, I had a special affection/affinity for The Fool and The Priestess together.

…  but it is not a bad idea to strengthen his tonal resonance a little, from pale spring primrose to buttercup!   The Fool is all things possible – the ALEPH.  The Magician is BEIT, the Beginning.  The Priestess through the bluebells is the Moon;  the Fool is “Advaita” and the Magician is Mercury’s application among the roses and the lilies of our earth.  The pure enlightened Mercury has this colour:

buttercup

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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 …  to an inner journey yesterday, which touches on this topic

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/

Human Landscape – on Diving and the Shroud

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black swan at Little Missenden

Diving into the heart is a practice which can be integrated with any meditation or method.   According to nature and personal type, it will take different forms;  the one may be disciplined and hatha-yogic;  another may carry it along with whatever they are doing. Others may integrate it with a Kabbalist, alchemical or holistic visualisation.  It may be done as a meditation at home, while reclaiming land, or protecting a wildlife habitat.

There may be a controlled kumbaka – inhalation, retention and exhale the breath to four counts each.  Or there may be just that fluid instant in the rising and falling curve of the wave.   It may come spontaneously when on a walk and seeing or hearing a beauty:  response.   Or it might help to calm a torment in the feelings.  All it needs is attention.  Ramana, the inspiration, advised never to force the breath or turn it into a School.  Watch it in empathy, relaxed like a rider on horse.

horse friends, 1964

horse friends, 1964

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For my nature, it helps to notice the rhythmic waves of life:  pulse, respiration, the ebb and flow of sound, and of shadows through Plato’s cave.  When I begin to notice them, instead of battling away in a little box room by myself, I am already diving into the heart.    Alan and I used to joke a lot about the resistant wall or knight’s armour-plating.   But in my opinion it is unwise to imagine that there is one, or to construct in this way, a duality.

swan beit

I am inspired by watching swans on water.   In yoga, an amrita-nadi (subtle nerve-current of bliss, like a spider-thread at dawn) links the third eye chakra (mental focus) to the heart (life-centre).   Do not seek it in a linear way, but accept that third eye and heart are One, through the shining filament;  and it happens of itself:  the thought is stilled, going deep.

Similarly, Alchemy’s famous Pelican opens her breast and feeds the seven chicks (planets’ rainbow spectrum) with the light of Sol within her.   In alchemy, the work of the Sun and Moon is done with the help of Mercury – the mind’s capacity to visualise.

lunation cycle x

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In my previous post, I mentioned that one can let nature dive into one’s own heart.   Let autumn leaves, damp grass, signposts and the sky – even a jar of good marmalade – do the diving.   Diving into the heart is for me, a reversal of habitual attitude.   Be dived into!

It is particularly helpful for those – like Alan and like myself – who find it difficult to sit and meditate.   And how about combining it with this …?

I have not done this for ages.  This morning my living-room carpet invited me – why?  Touch ground and see!  So I gave it a try.  I remembered some of the positions, and searched for a sketch I did years ago, but then found this beautiful image online.

A few days later … I found the sketch.

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hostile workplace environment

“hostile workplace environment” – SUN HERMIT – impressions from a misty autumn stroll through Santa Cruz

Now, here is what I wrote the other day, about the Veils

Contemplation is human portraiture:  the essences and savouries.  When I feel like celebrating someone, I want to write and picture a massive blog with all my living associations and poetry around that being.   It is the relaxing throne.

A thought with “H”:   accommodate his way of needing to spread the sand around a bit, before he gets to the point,  so when he arrives and we talk, I wait.   What I see here, is his need to bring all of himself into the room and be centered, before getting down to business.   This is affection.

The being!   The being is a citadel of the Self, as filled with Light as the inside of a Tree.

I want to look at the shroud.  My night time shroud:  the settlement of the tangled web.   Francis Lucille’s meditations which guide the “witnessing” are not much use when I am within my samskara.  It troubles me how enmeshed I still am.   Going deeper, I perceive:  the shroud itself to be allowed and fully realised, even through its drift of decades – just as much as a single passing thought in Plato’s cave.  The discipline required, is to locate and concentrate on one feeling, towards its root.

I live daily and nightly with my shroud – the big plankton raft.   This is what is given, with the dolphins from the ocean playground swimming up to and around it, and often leaping through it.   It is a projective veil – tamas.   It is a byproduct of my realisation, like vaseline is a byproduct of carboniferous oil.   It behaves according to the Law.   Attempts to tear it apart or dispel it are pretty futile, and so is feeling bad about it.

dakini oracle

dakini oracle

The practice of the Light skulls the boat in dark waters.  The dark waters are heavy and mean.   Mean and Heavy!   And who looks at me through that dakini oracle?  Mother Kali.

It is difficult to find peace at night, and I feel as if I have erred, which is part of the conundrum.   Realise that the night-cloth is unmovable for the time being, and it gets laid over the moist sculpture when I am not actually at work.   The night-cloth is precisely those grey clay-soaked tattered rags in the studio, with their muddy smell.   I dreamed about them in the Watershed and since –  two cloths were used to clean a wall, and how distressed and filthy they became – and had to be made even more unhappy and filthy, dipped in the bucket,  to get the job done.  But they got washed at last, and turned into two children, tucked clean and safe, into their cots.

Perhaps if I processed my subconscious day a bit in the evening, as well as next morning, this would happen, and sleep better.

Still on the surface of Portraiture, and what this is really about;  the shining Face before I am born, with its enamoured practice-runs in life…  It is the pith of the stem;  a white brilliance;  a magnet of JAH = alchemical magnesia.

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mudmaid by ... ?

mudmaid by … ?

Then as it is human landscape, accept the shadows thrown by geology and forest and town.  As the redoubtable Rebbe Alan Yakov of Prague used to tell his disciples, some of God’s brush strokes are dark;  without them there is no painting, so we should welcome them. I made this into a poem:

Nature’s common ground 
is your truth receiving light. 

Let your canvas find a key – 
the tonal spectrum of one flower, rock or leaf. 

Fidelity earths the lover’s act. 
Be a well for your brush. 
Welcome what is given.

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Acceptance of the shadow turns them to light, peace, shalom.  But precisely because they ARE shadows and not postage stamps on the wall, they are suffered and then realised, suffered and then realised, again and again;  and this is the Understanding which liberates and clarifies.   This is the Underbeing of life.

And the Way of the Underbeing is the unhurried tempo of touching each flavour in the passing show, uniquely, to let it be.

A dewy spider web on a barb wire fence …  The vintage essence starts into leaf … a branch with life bursting inside, whittled down and fertile. 

When I first knew him, Alan said his Sadhana is the sculptor’s chisel:  the pain of life is what is being chipped away.

Conundrum!  Living in the present is full of obvious but INACCURATE notions that I am lazy and losing my grip.  The true NOW is an unfolding movement under that grave-cloth.

There is a Face, features of living Light like soft cloud marble;  and just raised off it is the dark woven grave-cloth which protects it when not at work, and which takes all the battering of life.

Michelangelo

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GALLERY

I looked everywhere in my photo-library for the picture of a mudmaid.  At last I found her.  But before I did, out dropped all these images which I like today, for this post.

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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/

The Story of a Professor and the Sphinx

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Sphinx

Herr Doktor David Wiseacre adjusted his pince-nez.  Carefully he set his right palm under his bearded chin, and placed his elbow firmly on his oak desk, forming a pedestal like Rodin’s Le Penseur.

One can almost hear the mental machinery grinding.  Finely tuned electronics whirr in his furrowed brow.  A trapped fly buzzes up and down the window pane;  he is oblivious – the professor ponders the pendulum between points of view.

Dr.Wiseacre is the highly respected Professor Emeritus of advanced Metaphysics at the ancient University of Tubingen.  He is the pride of the German academic establishment. They regard him as a genius, arguably the most outstanding since Albert Einstein, whom by comparison, many have considered a bit of a dolt.  Some even believe he’s a reincarnation of the great Immanuel Kant, the Sage of Magdeburg.  World opinion has held that he outshone all his predecessors in the noble tradition of Western hyper-idealism.  His book The Core Questions Beyond Paranormal Metaphysics was hailed as a universal masterpiece, a superb ‘a priori intellectualisation’ of the highest order. There had been nothing like it since the ‘Critique of Pure Reason’.

How does my cat see me? - (circa 1968) - human paw and twiddle finger to food

How does my cat see me? – (circa 1968) – human paw and twiddle finger to food

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For certain reasons best known to him, three years ago Dr Wiseacre chose to abandon all this excitement, and to make his home in London.  Perhaps the celebrity has palled.  A study of the Stoics directed him to a more austere environment, where he could enjoy the Recession.   He was recommended to a villa overlooking Holders Hill Park; she keeps a kosher house.  The rent was rather high, and the room needs decorating, but his bursary is generous;  he settled immediately, and enriched his reflections on the home ground of Bacon’s English School, whose distinguished heirs – Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Russell –  have further teased western thought along the diligent generations.

Indeed, he occasionally leaves his desk to stroll into the park and enjoy the air.  For from the window of his back bedsitter, a prospect of green meadows, a rolling golf course and seminars of graceful, feathered trees, extending to a good-natured horizon, invites him.

But to-day the Professor is glum and down cast, behind the glass.  His native Teutonic abstractions have the upper hand, and his head aches.   He has collided with a great problem which threatens to undermine the magnificent cast iron structure of his conceptual linguistic analysis, which he built – his lifetime’s work.   A worm is eating him!   Recently, he began to suspect that this world in which he lives, has no substantial or material reality whatsoever.  What is more, he is the only so called ‘mind’, and he exists in some kind of weird phantasmagorical dream!  The notion won’t go away, and it is upsetting him.  The fine view from the window is all in the mind.  A fly is buzzing – ach!

He pondered some more, and then suddenly moved over to his Toshiba and began to briskly bang the keys. These will be his preparatory notes for the address he will deliver to the conference on the “Ultimate State of Consciousness Studies”.  It is being held in honour of the great Arthur Schopenhauer, no less, this coming summer in Geneva.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer

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He wrote:                 “AM I THE SOLE DREAMER?

 SOME FOOD FOR COLLEAGUE DREAM FIGURES IN MY DREAM TO PONDER –
‘I believe that I am pure infinite absolute consciousness-awareness-bliss.  That is my true nature, or the Self.”

Nah!  Nein! he thought, pushing back his chair.  Das ist not guttWhoever told you that?  Locke has held that the …  At that moment, something soft brushed his calf;  he started, looked down and saw his landlady’s cat Sabina, tail in the air.  She gets in through the bathroom window.   “Go, go away, pussy!”  He read the sentence again, without comprehension, tried to concentrate, but found his mind wandering;  his hands tapped out:

“… Unfortunately this primordial truth has been obscured by my many latent egotistic tendencies accumulated in this and possibly previous lives.

“However, I know that I exist.  This causes the light of my pure Consciousness to arise and to mirror these latent tendencies and egotism.  Therefore, the world, body, and mind that appear to me are actually unreal, like some dream projected on my screen of pure Consciousness. Am I therefore the sole dreamer of that dream?   Are the so called ‘others’ merely dream figures in my preordained dream of life?

The professor struck the “Save” key, and leaned back in his creaky chair.  This is arguably an accurate proposition.  The cat Sabina is pulling his trouser leg;  she is about to leap up into his lap.  When he first moved in to Mrs Felsenberg’s, Sabina was still a kitten, and absently he allowed her to sit on his knee while he was working;  the tapping keys became her lullaby;  absently also, he would stroke her while wrestling a difficult point.  Now he can’t get rid of her!   Grudgingly, he gave in, for it is too much trouble to break his thread, and put her out.  She leaps, scrabbles, lands, and kneads his thin thighs with her claws while she rotates, to settle her bed.  Ach!  Ow!   Stoically, he endures.  Systematically she subsides, and purrs.  The professor’s mind races on:

“This is not exactly a philosophic solipsism, such as the famed Bishop George Berkeley and others propounded ‘de novo’.   It is much more sophisticated.

8a sphinx 1

“2.            A WARNING
While still holding onto the ‘I am the sole Dreamer’ notion, keeping it in mind, I must always live and behave as if the apparent dream and the dream figures I seem to perceive are other than myself, and therefore real. The dream figures are conditioned in my predetermined dream world to react aggressively, if my behaviour does not conform with what is regarded as ‘normality’ by them;  i.e. if I do not act as if their dream world was Real.

The dream world imposes consequences on the ‘sole dreamer’ who does not conform to its predetermined character, or behave as if it was real.  Such is the nature of this mental delusion.”

He paused again.  Now he is far away among the distant trees.  He is stroking Sabina’s soft fur, again and again, rhythmically.  Her pleasure warms his fingertips and palm.  The sensation barely registers cognitively;  yet sensuously it prevails.  Abstract cognition is his freedom.  She quietens and prepares his mind.  A range of snowy mountains excitingly beckons him;  like a chamois he leaps from crag to crag.  The cat stretches, yawns sharp teeth, flexes claws again.  From the accomplices in pleasure, the web spins on and on …

“3.            SOLIPSISTIC DELUSION
“Solipsistic delusion is one of the powers inherent in the organ of cognition –  to delude the human being, that the so called world appears as a dream or hallucination – a mountain, a cloud or a lump in the ground.  This is because, built into the organ of my cognition, brain and senses, are a priori conditioned reflexes of Time, Space and Causality. Every sentient being creates his or her own universe, from the mosquito to the chimpanzee, according to the structure of its organ of cognition …” 

 ..

What?  A childhood memory is knocking at the door.  His mother told him that a stoat and a weasel are –  ach, then what was it?

“In the human being, the inbuilt mechanism of space creates the three dimensional theatre or screen of consciousness on which the pre-programmed dream unfolds. This unfolding of 32 frames a second in perception, gives an impression of events happening in a temporal sequence like a cinema film.  It is compounded by the observation of changes apparently taking place, in the so called natural forces, as seen in this life dream. The causal faculty deduces a reason for these so called ‘happenings’, which may be accurate or inaccurate.   The ‘me’ acts accordingly in response.”

brean down

He is still searching – that enticing little valley – yes!  That visit to the fortifications at the end of Brean Down.  He was a child, on holiday with his parents in the English west country.  The war-time fort is rusted by the sea;  in spring the returning swallows swoop down Brean and skim the Bristol Channel waves, as they skid home like arrows, to Wales.  He and his brother Benjamin played the siege of Sebastopol through concrete bunkers cracked by dandelions;  and at the iron door of one of these, he stood looking out cautiously to each side;  for his brother hunted him.  In the fall of sour grass, broken bricks and rubbish across the path, he detected a tiny movement – a small head by a hole – two bright eyes;  it quivered and vanished.

“Mother!  Mother!  I saw a stoat!”

“What’s the difference,” asked Benjamin, coming up and grabbing him, “between a stoat and a weasel?  How do you tell them apart?  Bang, you’re dead!”

Their mother was English, so she replied, “You can weaselly tell them apart, liebchen, because a stoat is-totally different.”

Upon this premise stands the Professor’s life work.  The unanswerable conundrum pops out from his hole.   The emotional sterility of his limited cogitation disintegrates, and he is a child again.

stoat in winter coat, photo by A & W Bilinscy

stoat in winter coat, photo by A & W Bilinscy

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At the end of Brean Down, a sleeping serpent sinks into the sea.  Among the stones, a little stoat is seen.  He sees us with his eyes, and disappears into a hidey hole.  But what really does he see?  And what is concealed behind the forms of nature that we see?

Delighted with this pictorial potential – how it will flummox his students! – the Professor soothes his forefinger along the cat’s whiskers.  Perhaps there’s a drop of milk in the fridge – perhaps it hasn’t gone sour?

The human visual spectrum is one slice off the pie of reality, one sliver cut across the apple, the total universe called Adam.  But what of the total universe called Stoat?  The Professor is on the horns of a dilemma – to disturb the cat and fetch a sardine for her from the cupboard, or to pursue the pleasure of his thoughts, and her bliss.  How can I know, he wonders, in a rare mood of softness, what she sees in me.  Am I a biped?  Or a heavy yet benevolent pair of paws through the feline filter?  How can I know what the small russet stoat sees and reacts to?  Or whether he knows the difference between seeing and being in his hole?  Or what his own point, in the relative world which I think of as Brean Down, can possibly feel like?  I KNOW NOTHING!   NOTHING  nein!  And yet I contemplate myself.   All appearance, all matter, all that matters and all that does not, floats like clouds or water-lily leaves in front of the tremendous space of manifestation.

This paragraph floats through the Professor’s busy mind and leaves not a trace;  for he is on his feet, and fussing around the fridge;  the cat Sabina, after a brief lick to save her face, now preens against her expected treat.  She is a handsome animal, with a pure white face, black ears and black saddles along her back.  Her tail, thick and shiny like a wet otter, is erect with joy.  “There you are!” exclaims the Professor, stroking her – he found an old bit of cheese also, which she seeks to like.   And now, to return to the problem …

“4.            NOTES ON THE DREAM OF SUFFERING IN AN UNREAL WORD
All the dream figures complain endlessly and bitterly about the immense amount of suffering which appears to happen in their individual dream of the world. But the world cannot be judged horizontally, just as it seems to appear on their screen of consciousness.  It is better perceived vertically, as a densely populated field of Fate, where the hand of preordained destiny is constantly directing these dream figures to actions, which are designed ultimately for them to pursue their selfish egotistic pleasures.”

Sabina has finished her snack, and is doing her toilette.

“These dream figures interact all the time unknowingly.  A world of suffering appears as a consequence;  but internally they are being taught a severe lesson which forces them to turn within introspectively, and end their dreadful repetitive cycle of dream births. Then aid arrives, and relief descends in the form of an enlightened Philosopher like me, who reveals certain principles, or ways to escape from the prison house of their dreams.”

The Professor pauses.  The cat eyes him speculatively.  Then he continues:

“But they must work persistently on themselves.  Self-investigation and Self-interrogation help to remove all their old latent habits and conditioned tendencies, which create their dreams. Then the Real Self shines through.  The suffering soul wakes up to Reality, and the dream ends .”

The Professor is now boiling himself a cup of tea in a saucepan on the Baby Belling;  he ransacks the drawer for biscuits.  Sabina has gone off in a dignified huff.  He feels sleepy, abandons the Toshiba and lies down on the bed for a nap.

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“5             MORE ON THE DREAM FIGURES
To imagine that there are ‘ some others who are real’ in the dream of life, is like imagining that all the dream figures in one’s private night dream are dreaming the same dream as you are, at exactly the same time.

“6             FIRST PERSON EVENTS
Only one’s own first person events have any validity. We have no experience whatsoever of another’s first person events.  We only interpret them by inference, which is widely open to misinterpretation by us, and cannot be relied upon with any exactitude. The ‘other’ can only be interpreted as a ‘dream figure’ because we have no reliable experiential evidence of his or her actual existence or consciousness, except as dreamed by us, which is then superimposed by us upon him or her.

“We are left with being the Sole Dreamer until realisation of the real Self unveils the illuminated substrate of the world.   This may be perceived as Real and is no longer a subjective dream.”

15 sphinx 2

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The Professor lay dreaming about The Indifferent One.  The Indifferent One, he was told, is I and Thou.  The Indifferent One looks out of each and all of our eye sockets, uniquely.  The bone is its container, and the Indifferent One wanders in and out of the orbital cavities at will … through a fluid co-incidence of Will, within as without, to be done. On the fourth day of the vision of Christian Rosenkreutz, a white serpent wound herself about through the eye-holes of a skull … An old book on anatomy for artists was in his hand.  Why!   Here’s a drawing of the skull – and each gaping socket for the eye is a base of a pyramid with four faces – and the apex of two pyramids points inward through the optic nerve to cranial centre !  The apex is Quintessence – the point of “5” within the four elements.  No need to cross your eyes!  The 5 is an Egyptian priest.  He co-ordinates the quickening mystery of earth and heaven.

5 hierophant - Version 2

It comes to focus through the apex.  It receives also rain, and lightning.  “And look, my own orbital pyramids point inward.  My brain streams visual stimuli along the optic nerve into each apex, to perceive – outward through the widening bony base – the earthly world.  The further in I look, the wider appears the world outside.  And I begin to ask Who is looking in? – through the vault to heaven?  And so the mystery of Five in the magic square of Three is plain to me as the breath of life moves in and out of my solar plexus.  The mystery of Five in the magic Square of Three, with equal intervals to each side, is my instrument of vision.  It enters and then seems to emanate from somewhere within the depth of my noddle.  God be in my head, and in my … nein, nein!  wrong religion, dumkopf … “

 THE MAGIC SQUARE OF THREE

 4            9           2

 3            5           7

 8             1           6

Three-squared (3X3) is 9.  The digits of each row, across, vertical or diagonal, add up to 15 (3X5).  Of further interest, are the intervals radiating from 5, to the pairs of numbers to each side.  And so on …

 ?

He further reflects, “Who am I?  The Sphinx asks that question.  The Sphinx’s gaze is the mill or wheel on which the grain is pounded and the loaf is kneaded.  The great Eliphas Levi has said, ‘Angels not wholly freed, fall again into the abyss.’ 

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skull eyes pyramid

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“From the Sphinx’s gaze within, my mask of life begins to slip and crumble away from bedrock, like peeling paint.  It leaves a cave or cavity – like water or air.   The Sphinx appears pitiless, but only relatively so, from the lower levels.  Through the Sphinx, I actually am the pounding of the provincial grain upon the wheel.  At certain shy moments, the intense calm of the Sphinx’s smile …  I look out through these caves, in the mountain of sandstone that this great cat is. 

“Her smile is a deep, central peace – my dreamless sleep – the gentle airs.  There is no movement at the hub of the wheel.  Those who are subjected to Her gaze, live and die upon Her anvil.   But those who are equal to Her gaze begin to learn to love their enemies.  In the Bull and the Lion of Ezekiel’s vision, dwell in unity the Eagle and the Angel – the serpent Redeemer. ‘Whenever you meet someone, think deeply:  ‘G-d – The HOLY ONE – dwells in this body.  Then comes initiation for ever.’” 

Initiation through so “Indifferent” a “One”, wakes from the dream, always.

 Arc 10 wheel

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The Professor started from his slumber, hurried to his disheveled desk, woke up the Toshiba, and wrote firmly:

“7.            OBJECTION
Most important Philosophers state that the case for Solipsism is formidable.  The chief objection however, comes from Arthur Schopenhauer, whom we honour to-day.  He says that ‘the object necessarily implies a subject’. But as the subject supplies the object, as has already been stated by me, this fails.

“8.            GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
Ludwig Wittgenstein believed that Solipsism is at the core of the Metaphysical. Even the Subject’s relationship to Philosophy and other Philosophers is a solipsistic experience. It is impossible to get beyond the boundaries of the egotistic self, until one realises pure Consciousness. What evidence is there of a World beyond our mental states, other than the deceptive senses, which are all highly untrustworthy? To infer there is a World from other dream figures’ statements is nonsensical, as it begs the question of ‘who makes the inference?’ The subject, and the reply from the object, the dream figure, is supplied by me, the sole dreamer, myself.”

“But I,” he ruminated, “am not a stoat.  The stoat is not a David Wiseacre.  Both of us are potentially weasels, and neither of us is the cat.  Nein, Nein!”  For congestion threatened to overwhelm him in its dry harbours.  He grabbed his cap and coat and hurried downstairs out of doors.  From his landlady’s sombre back garden, a little latch-gate gave access to the Park.  Next door, in Hendon Cemetery, hosts of rank anxieties lay at last in stony peace;  on such occasions, that regimented garden, battered and be-mossed by the four seasons, soothed him.

But the sun was beginning to set, tinting the whole western sky orange beyond the sparse and disciplined woodlands.  And the first thing the Professor saw, as he stepped past the oak tree and out onto the cut grass, was the cat.  Sabina sat in the long grass at the foot of the tree, quite, quite still, with the setting sun in her face, and ignored him;  she sat like a Queen.  So he stopped, for his flight from philosophy had made him breathless.

He stopped, and watched.  He had noticed a certain tension.

Presently the cause of this came into view.  Liebe Gott!  A most remarkable animal.  It came over the links, creeping nearer and nearer to Sabina’s wide ring-pass-not, as if bewitched.  It was tall, it had a cat-like grace, it stalked, it glided on slender, sinewy silver legs, feathered a little with long white hairs;  it had a long, slender muzzle, soft dark eyes like a seal in a fairy tale, and an improbable tail held high, bushy and silky soft like a squirrel – this animal was pure white all over, and shone in the slanting light;  this animal was A DOG.

The Professor trembled, and stood rooted to the spot.  Along the animal’s curving spine, all the short hairs stood up in tufts, even as far as the splendid tail.  And it prowled, from side to side, like a serpent or metaphysical breakthrough ;  for Sabina held her field.  Like an Egyptian priestess, her spell enshielded her to a distance of at least ten metres;  silently she hissed;  the invader as silently opened his jaws to snarl, but couldn’t bark.  No mythological creature such as this, can merely bark.  The space was electrically charged.  Were they at play, or were they predators?  Suddenly it exploded.  The dog broached an invisible wire;  Sabina turned and shot up the tree, like lightning in reverse, and sat in the first high fork, as wise, as feathered and unblinking as AN OWL – the brilliance of the sunset in her face.

And the Professor could do nothing.  A human biped from beyond his line of sight, called to the animal – “Dubi !” – who pranced a little, obeyed the distraction, and reluctantly loped away.  The Professor stood in the grass, unable even to think of fetching a ladder; because Nature knows how Cheshire cats get there, and Nature knows how to get down again, and it is not proper to interfere.  He walked a little away, and in the oak tree still shone that white brilliant star, defiantly aloft.  It troubled his soul.  The sun sank in a copper blaze of glory.  The Professor shook his head, and took a turn around the graveyard.

..

On his return to the Toshiba, he read his day’s work so far, but it all looked a little boring, and he couldn’t really make head or tail of it.  Half heartedly, he drew his conclusions:

“9. ULTIMATE PERSPECTIVE
From an Absolutist perspective, all is One. The dreamer is a dream, dreamed by the Absolute, and as ‘I am That – my Self’, it is my sole dream. Only ‘I’ have the first hand experience of ‘That’. This concept can only be experienced when the latent, habitual, conditioned tendencies are all expelled through ruthless Self-examination, and the mind is surrendered to the truth I have to-day outlined.”

 *

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 Which is what?  The learned Professor stopped typing with a jolt.  Even if it feels true, he must never reveal his confession to the world; otherwise his whole delightful game of metaphysical disputation and assertion will cease and he will be bereft of his occupation, livelihood and sole raison d’etre.

Dr Wiseacre feels better now – he has relieved himself of extreme mental torment.  He goes downstairs with a book by one of his colleagues in Tubingen, who argues those hard questions arising from Advanced Consciousness Studies:  it is a sort of hobby.

“The Stoat is Totally Different, therefore the Weasel is Weaselly Right:  Discuss.”  He’ll set the students that question, and amuse himself with their responses, then demolish them with his nut cracker brain and acerbic wit – ah, such Socratic irony!  His walk gave him an appetite.  Ha, ha, ha, he chortled to himself. A Dream within a dream, you stupid dolt! Forget such an absurd fantasy even if it may be true.

Now for some of Mrs Felsenberg’s thick frankfurter and lentil soup, which she serves on a Monday!

On Somerset Levels

On Somerset Levels

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This story developed from a first draft by Alan Jacobs. He provided the philosophical narrative and arguments.  I contributed the Creatures and some further a-musings.  It is in a collection of our esoteric tales for all ages, published in 2012 by 0 Books:  The Dreamer in the Dream  – available on Amazon or order from your bookshop.

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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 – New posts on Master R

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/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – A Preamble to the Suit of Arrows

This post is a prelude to the Suit of Swords (Arrows) in the Sacred India Tarot Archive.  Rohit Arya works and writes in India, and I am an artist in the UK;  we began work on the project in 2001, exchanging images and ideas by email, and have not yet met!

jane in yellow field

rohit arya

Rohit’s polymath vision bridges eastern and western archetypes:  the Vedas with Jung.  His 350 page book with the deck, includes a superb introduction to Vedanta, Yoga and Indian mythology, stories and interpretations for each card, and practical advice on spreads and on maintaining the deck.  The deck is published by Yogi Impressions Books in Mumbai.  More information about The Sacred India Tarot is on facebook.

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SITA 5 of Arrows - detail

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Rohit Arya’s Notes, 2004

We have to use arrows instead of swords, because Indian myth is primarily an archer culture, swordsmanship being mythically of no account.  This is very strange until we realise that the samurai too were an archer-noble class until the exigencies of changing warfare made them convert to the sword.  The code of combat that the samurai nominally adhered to, was also extremely similar to the rules of combat in Indian myth. 

“In any case, arrows represent the Air element too.  I have seen some Tarot packs use this option, but basically there is no other choice if we want to operate within mythological parameters.  I will use the Bheeshma episode of the MAHABHARATHA.  The whole story is impossible.  What I like about Bheeshma is that he is epitome of the Indian ideal, not just as a warrior but also in his mode of self actualization.  He does not seem to have had a single moment of self gratification in his entire life – it was spent solely in the pursuit of duty and making others happy.  His complete surrender to and total self effacement before his social unit would seem a ghastly tragedy in modern Western terms, but it was one of the paths to spiritual realization as India understood it. 

“It cannot be said that he was completely wrong.  While he lived, only Krishna could defeat or kill him in combat;  and about his wisdom and knowledge, he was said to be another Brihaspati, the Guru of the devas.  The story of Bheeshma is a uniquely Indian success story with its strain of pathos and sentiment.  Not to have such a strand represented in our Tarot would leave it somewhat incomplete.”

SITA 10 of Arrows_Udishtara

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Jane’s Notes

This was a difficult Suit for me to process, and it took a very long time to complete the drawings for it.  At one point I was so stuck and depressed, that I abandoned it and painted the Suit of Lotuses, for light relief!   However, Rohit’s interpretation of the Arrows and King Bheeshma reveals some profound psychological states.

SITA 10 of Arrows - Bheeshma

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About a month ago, after completing the Suit of Lotuses in the Archive series, I began reflecting on the Arrows to come.  I wrote down some alchemical ideas around the Sword and the Flower, the way they companion the Light.

aphrodite & prince sword 1956

aphrodite & prince with sword, 1956

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Jane’s Notes – 10 August 2013

Swords do not appear much in Indian mythology.  Rohit developed instead the Suit of Arrows, based on themes from the Mahabharata, the Great Poem which includes the Bhagavad Gita’s 700 lines.  The Gita – Song of God – appears like a sweet kernel within a cosmic “civil war” on earth.  Lord Krishna emerges at times of extreme world stress, to restore the Dharma, or principle of Life.   To fulfil the Law, it is inevitable to harrow and to thresh, as well as to teach.

Sword & Onion..

“You seek an absolute mentor?
You seek a forgery!
Is envy the source of your being?
Look into your onion dome.
What leaf did ever separate
your ‘I’ from centre, and grow a husk?

How she weeps now
and wails the sharp
aroma to return.”

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The Swords/Arrows manifest as Karma, but as the Law they act from the World of Creation (Kabbalistically).  In olden days, the metal was forged through fire and water – the  many overlapping ‘skins’ produced a blade of great flexibility and strength.

Rarely do they appear in life harmoniously.  Yet they are the sun’s swords of light into a forest clearing.   That is their operation.   They are a play of Light.

Karma is or appears discordant, due to the stuff that was hung on that play of Light in days gone by – actions, projections, fears, as they manifest.

sword in western mythos

sword in western mythos

Zain

In the western Tarot, the Sword is the symbol ZAIN of the Lovers:  the key of sane humanity and reciprocal relationship.  It parts the tangled strands and arranges them into their proper position in consciousness.  It parts the waves.

Tarot Arcana 6:  The Lovers.  Their symbol is hebrew letter ZAIN, meaning sword or phallus.  As we all know, the field of relationship and being truthful is the most challenging!

Tarot Arcana 6: The Lovers. Their symbol is hebrew letter ZAIN, meaning sword or phallus. Graphically this letter suggests a YOD on a VAV.  As we all know, the field of relationship and being truthful is the most challenging!

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Thou shalt separate
from the sensual, the radiant,
gently and with wisdom.
Thou shalt let its essence soar
into heaven’s heart
then re-enter the earthly art
translated.
Then thou shalt have the power
above as below
in root potency of things.

(Emerald Table of Hermes)

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So watch the Swords and their – often painful – play of light.   A flower of knives is paradoxically the golden flower – the Lotus.  A western daffodil does the job just fine!  An adept may observe and marvel at the beauty.  I feel I am in touch with adept, but i am not an adept, which is frustrating.

A painting done in 1986.  In those days there was a great deal of pain around relationships - it felt like a "flower of knives' in the solar plexus, yet it was at the same time this yellow flower of spring.  Many years later, I found the book "The secret of the golden Flower".

A painting done in 1986. In those days there was a great deal of pain around relationships – it burned like a “flower of knives’ in my solar plexus, yet it was at the same time this yellow flower of spring. Years later, I found the book “The secret of the golden Flower”. In the background is Damehole Point near Hartland, in North Devon. A valley descends to the wild sea, from a village called Stoke.

The Body of Light is the development of a spirit-body in and as the golden flower.  When we are in our body of Light, we share the perspective;  we know each other’s individual existence and ideas, and we know the things which are connected.  We are the lens:  the eagle with a wide view of the landscape;  who detects the parting of some blades of grass, far below.

Indeed we are the Avatamsaka Tower sutra.  (see end of the linked post.) A sutra is a teaching, and it is given around a seated Buddha.  The Buddha is firmly butt on ground, surrounded by light – an energised Nature.   Watch the breath, the world go by.   Compassion to living creatures is when I am not separate from them;  the natural state or gravity is love, and to care. Polish the mundane, the windows on earth.   Remain where the window is being cleaned – for who else can do this job here and now?  Obviously, the manifestation on earth is difficult.

Sacred India Tarot page of disks - Version 2

“If a man can be absolutely quiet, then the Heavenly Heart will manifest itself.  When the feeling springs up and flows out in the natural course, the person is created as primordial creature.  This creature abides between conception and birth in TRUE SPACE.  When the One note of individuation enters into birth, essence and life are divided in two.  From this time on, if the utmost peace is not achieved, essence and life never see each other again.”

Secret of the Golden Flower translated by Jung/Wilhelm

Cup and sword

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11 justice - Version 2

The Sword parts essence and life:  parts consciousness and life.  (Tarot Key 11). Peace does not belong to an individual who strives for it, meditates for it.  Peace is a common commodity.  Tuning into it by whatever means, receives the savour.  Nature won’t be hurried for the seed to crack open.

Yet alchemical work is to some extent an accelerative process.   It quickens the receptivity of the interior organs, to change.   When the Light comes in, it alters the cellular memory.  And why am I this me, not your me?

Unanswerable, because you have the same problem, the unique me surrounded by this and that.   Every Sun, Star and planet is an interior axis of rotating bodies:  a Consciousness surrounded by things.  Every cat and caterpillar has this i-see-the-world.   So I am identical to a vast Sun and a caterpillar and an atom.

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A Flowering Staff - detail

A Flowering Staff – detail

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The Way is practice:  keep practicing the empty capacity for everything I truly am.   Watch the road and see the Way flow into me.   Like an ocean whale, I browse the living space;  it extends beyond each ear.   My face of life is space, my consuming is space, and that which is consumed, flowing into here, is open without end, a carnival.

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Daffodils in Douglas Harding, 1993

Daffodils in Douglas Harding, 1993

Conscious space is infinite, through the emotional knots which cover and obscure it.   It is very hard to choose “the open-ness” over the obscuring condition. We are conditioned into a sense of profound limitation;  this became our habit.

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Sacred India Tarot 9 of Arrows - detail

Sacred India Tarot 9 of Arrows – detail

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar;  or use the Search tab.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

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Jane

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 – see posts on Master R and his music

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/

Discovering Alchemy in the Tarot Keys

This post includes a Table of Hebrew letters, their gematria and Tarot Keys.

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Priestess, Justice, Emperor - Tarot Keys which spell "galah" meaning 'to discover or reveal'.

Priestess, Justice, Emperor – Tarot Keys which spell “galah” meaning ‘to discover or reveal’. 

Three BOTA Tarot Keys (read from right to left) spell a Hebrew word:  Galah (GLH).

This word means to Uncover, denude, strip of concealment.  It looks rather formal with three throned figures.  Yet, what is hidden in subconscious recollection (the Priestess, Gimel) may be upraised with the Sword and Scales (Lamed, the Law) and sighted openly in the Emperor (Heh, long range vision).  Justice is the law of Equilibrium.  The Emperor is alert: the reasoning mind.

The word Galah is a shorthand for any taxing process in life, and the gradual unveiling of its essence which is Alchemy.

The law of Equilibrium is supreme here.   The Priestess wears a cross.  Justice wears the bottom half, a T for TAV, and the Emperor carries the top half in his regal ball (with a cross on top). Look carefully, for another cross in his Key!   Nothing is stripped bare but the truth;  and truth is poised throughout all phenomena, without frontier.  Truth is also hard won, through the goad of Karma in the Justice card.

Justice and the Emperor carry out-front their emblems of status:  the Priestess is discreet.  The cellular memory in her scroll, flows from her lap as the waters from the mountain.   The cellular memory – the Akashic record – converts seamlessly into the cloth which fits today.  Every single little detail on the loom is in the Record of the Rocks.   I feel suddenly that every item I am now, my house, clothes, ideas and story, recalls Plantagenet history –  I happen to be reading about it just now. On that turbulent high-medieval period, many Tarot archetypes were based.  I am much the same, today.  I have the same feelings and fears.  The Moon converts through Mercury, what I am, or believe myself to be … throughout the ages’ teeming diversity of Consciousness and Creation.   The human-ness.

Realisation of this, may lead to mastery of Karmic situations and samskaras.   It cleaves them with the Sword of Justice, as it recognises the elder version under the present cloth.   We are one.  Justice wears the red robe of action/Mars with a green mantle and cap – Venus.  The Emperor surveys his dominion – red, which is Mars.   GLH, galah: to disclose – to unveil.

The alchemical First Matter is distributed equally through all phenomena AS IT IS AT HOME.   Note that the Priestess and Justice both sit in front of a veil, a pargod.   Only a tiny bit of the Priestess’s floor is visible:  it is yellow, the colour code of Divine consciousness: E in the musical scale.   And behind Justice’s throne, heavy purple curtains are parted a little, to admit that yellow tone.   The Emperor holds a yellow sceptre – a T with a very long stem and a circle on top, like a Venusian glyph.

Tree of Life and Menorah

Tree of Life and Menorah

The Keeper of the Records is the Priestess.  She has the winged opening at her back, as a Tree of ripe peachy pomegranates and green palms.  The moon between her horns is Daat on the Tree of Life: the cross on her breast is Tifareth: the scroll in her lap is Yesod.  Daat and Yesod, the transpersonal and the personal, are hidden to each other, yet united through translation.

The curtains behind Justice are parted at the same place … where the wings begin.   The Emperor surveys his red crystal canyon and orange sky.  Surprisingly, grass grows at his feet – the hardiest herb.   Green is the code tone for Venus.  Now, the Emperor is Aries ruled by Mars, and Justice is Libra, ruled by Venus.  The Priestess is the Moon, our tidal and cyclic nature through lifetimes.

Narrow minds find it difficult to enjoy the element.   It might be for them an altar object;  a cloister.   Angry at anyone who doesn’t tip the toe just so.   Paradoxically however, the teaching must be guarded against adulteration and distortion.   The shrine keepers have an essential role.

Note that Justice (11) and the Priestess are both 2;  the Emperor is 2 squared, which is 4 – the first square root.   (Because The Fool is 0, and assigned to Aleph, letter 1 in the alephbeis, the other 22 Tarot keys follow suit.  Thus, the Magician, Key 1, carries letter Beit, 2 – and so on.)

table of hebrew letters & tarot

Sword & Onion

I noticed while re reading, that my imaginary Sword is of crystal.   The Sword of light which parts the waves, did crystallize from the shining metal.   I should meditate each morning on my Rose Cross sanctum?  But I find my way there, anyway, through thick and thin.  Peace be still.  Crystal is a living, flowing metal, a blade of the sun and moon with mercury.  It parts the waves of why the sea is salt.  It bends like a glass blade, and it melts with heat, and yet it is very powerful.   Think of it fluid, and at rest, on the sanctum table with a golden cross at whose heart unfurls a velvet red Rose.  Sink into the zabad perfume, which is ancient and evocative once it settles down.   I feel the far cities at sea:  the musky resins and their honeyed mixtures.   I was always a sailor, a trader of rare commodities.

Cup and sword copy

Artists, adventurers and merchants, eventually settle down to distil their commodities in the soul.  It transmutes from commerce to currency.  They become alchemists of the Living Path.  They distil each wine which comes to them, and make rare brandy.  They taste the grape and knead the grain.

Now, here is the 18-9-8 oracle, which I mentioned in my last post:

An oracle - Keys 9,18,8 - hermit, the moon and strength

An oracle – Keys 9,18,8 – hermit, the moon and strength

All three have the Mountain.   In alchemy, we are miners of our mountains, where the metals of earth – our body –  ascend to the sky.   It is in the background of Strength and the Moon;  the Hermit stands upon it, upon that mountain:  we walk our talk.   With his lamp he illumines the ascending souls.   The magid in the sky in Key 18 sheds YODs of light on the path for evolution.

With a similar gesture, and with her hands, the lady in Strength gently restrains the red lion, and teaches his raw Hermetic roar to purr, speak and sing.  The tone-vibration of this Key is yellow – as the Moon in 18 and the Lamp in 9.  Light presses through every appearance, every cloak and every bossy veil.  It frays our life at the edges.  When it is strong, it turns life against it, very black.   And so through the deepest black, the raven’s wing in alchemy, we often are the Light.   The Black Restful is the Light without end:  en sof.   The Light is an inner condition, an inner way:  receive.   Osiris of the Sun is ‘a dark god’ – this was whispered to initiates in days gone by.   The Light is interior peace and perspective.   The Light recognises that the learning curve of life takes much longer than overnight.  To feel more at ease with life, however strange its form, is progress.

The wolf and the dog in Key 18 feel exposed and vulnerable out in the open, without the Light, and a long way to walk.  Whatever gradient they reach, they feel as if they were sent back to start all over again, near the lobster.   Their drama at the moon almost hides the distant mountain:  the picture profoundly depicts our psychological state.  Yet they do the job in time and space, moving through the physical gate.  Embodiment is their staff and evolution.   They are like the footprints in the sand along the sea which became only one pair.   “Why am I alone?”  “Because my beloved, I am carrying you.”

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footprints - Version 2

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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/