Sketches of Pallas Athene

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athene's owl

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Athene was the Greek warrior goddess.  She might correspond to India’s Durga.  Her magnificent grey eyes were filled with light;  she came across the seas, larger than life, to inspire Perseus and other heroes on their dangerous odyssey. She lent them her weapons, her bearskin and Hermes’ gold sandals and cloak of invisibility.  Her creature is the Owl.  May her wisdom be our courage.

When I was a child, reading Charles Kingsley’s The Heroes, I copied out my favourite pages from the tale of Perseus and the Gorgon – how we face our shadow –  and illustrated them.  Botticelli’s allegorical painting of Pallas Athene and the troubled man who is half a horse, puzzled me.

I had last year in the back of my mind’s eye, Athene’s face as she strokes the centaur’s head.  When I was small, my grandmother must have told me the story, because always since then, I hear her crisp voice explaining this picture, perhaps she talked to me about the shield and the bearskin and the centaur and the spear.  Later, I learned to read.   An archetype behind my grandmother’s presence – the true picture (like a Botticelli or Leonardo) -transcends the suggestive physical form. The Presence of that art stood subtly behind Helen Ede’s face, her flavour and her voice.

Each child has a special feeling for her grandmother perhaps.  This is my own.

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The painting by Sandro Botticelli

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One of my versions, in 1987.  I too was on my inner journey …

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… to mend my dolls.

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I set forth into life, with Athene’s blessing and Hermes’ sandals

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Do I learn from books, or do I really look and see?  Wake up!

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Here are Ceres and John, the deep unfolding bud within Revelation.

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When I did this drawing – copying Botticelli’s – towards the end of last year, the allegory or mystery within it came up to the touch. She seems to raise the human animal body with all its memory and mythos, through levels of awakening:  they behold one another, astonished.  I particularly enjoyed drawing the centaur.

It was very difficult for me to draw Athene. When she at long last began to look like a goddess (not Botticelli’s look-like, but in her own right) I became deeply interested in the Centaur.   With him, the painting’s archetypal resonance emerges.  He is the daemon, the living creature of the woods:  his face is twisted like a root:  he is as we were when the Spirit world still shone through our irregular features –   a tall, noble, careworn personage, Cheiron who guided the Argonauts from his cave on Mount Pelion.  In the original Botticelli, he looks tall and spacious, but when I try to draw him, I discover his horse-body is a Shetland pony – short legs and haunches at the level of Athene’s knees.  So his distortion and its strange natural beauty in the Botticelli is curious:  the man body is long and powerful:  the horse body small and sturdy.

Try to imagine him here in this room:  great Devic man of the woods on a little Sheltie’s short legs which (relatively) scuttle him along like a small dog.

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Version 2

I always imagined Centaurs as the proud neck of great stallions who leap fallen trees and rocks effortlessly, read the stars and regard bipeds with disdain.  This one’s human body is outsize. Athene in my drawing is super-human size, she has very big feet.  She is a goddess.  I used to love the leaves and flowers on her shining dress.  Her face was rather grown up and sorrowful.  In my rendering, it is sensual like a female Pan, an awakened child, a bit like Botticelli’s earthy angels.  She gazes wonderingly at the Centaur creature whose dark locks of hair she strokes – in my drawing she might pull his hair, gently draw him up to her height, to be seen.   She seems to unmask nature.   Her presence and touch lifts him from small pony body (or cart-horse) to the godlike stature of human, and still he is uncoiling from his shy woodland state:  he shields himself like Adam and Eve:  he twists like an old tree. His eyes and consciousness do not know what or Who this is, that lifts, shines and troubles him.

The allegory is now clear to me.  Like the Birth of Aphrodite, it is another portrait of Renaissance in the collective soul-body at the time.   I am fascinated by his daemon woodiness and the idea that in any sylvan glade in the woods, these two might emerge through transpositions of the light.

In the painting they are on the shore of a lake by a temple; in the distance behind them sails a little boat. In my mind’s eye they are deep in the woods, among the trees. My early impress of childhood awakens to a transformed sound:  as I began to draw the Centaur, I heard and felt the ‘quickening’ in my body.  It is easier and a relief to draw his battered face than to try to represent a Botticelli beauty … I had a long struggle with her.  He is of the curled roots and loamy sharp smells of the woods.  Pan-like, he gives me his energy.

Like when I copied Botticelli’s Primavera Mercury some years ago, I understand God’s ‘twist’ and brush-stroke in our design, which we endure:  body’s spiral movement – face’s anxious uplift – essential in the overall design to support it like a pillar, like Atlas.

QLF49 Mercury April allegory.JPG

Mercury – Hermes – copy after Botticelli’s Primavera

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A week or two later, I did the same drawing, this time with my left hand.  Why?  Because my left hand – the surfacing subconscious or feminine, has not yet acquired bad habits.  It is less facile, so it is aware.  The lines come from within, slow, sensitive and deliberate, I seem to see where they should go.  I didn’t have to erase much.

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Centaur and Athene after Botticelli – drawn with left hand

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Athene herself looks amazed at what she uncovers.  It is related to her allegories of unmasking with Perseus and the Gorgon, and to my feeling with this drawing.  Her shield and bears-head and owl are not visible, but all are implied in her raising of the Centaur to the light.   In my right-hand version, there wasn’t much room on the paper to draw her big axe-head on the staff she holds, and there was no room at all for the Centaur’s bow.

Centaurs are the Sagittarian Archer.  Traditionally the Sags are small, dark and lithe, and swift with their arrows which travel far … until they reach the Saturn field of Capricorn.   In winter there is this tidal pressure and restraint:  centrifugue and centripetal movement, Jupiter and Saturn across the Tree:  winter.

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Aphrodite comes ashore with shadow.

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Hear the sea.  Walk in the sand.

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Copy of Sandro Botticelli's self-portrait detail from "Adoration of the Virgin"

Copy of Sandro Botticelli’s self-portrait detail from “Adoration of the Virgin”

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.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2017. 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/

Resurrect the Star

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Tarot Keys Tower, Star and Moon, representing the paths on the Tree which converge on Netzach

Tarot Keys Tower, Star and Moon, representing the paths on the Tree which converge on Netzach

These three Tarots tell me a story:  the cracking of the seedcase, the watering of the shoot, the evolutionary journey to ripen.  When the Tower falls, it reveals its inversion, a well.

I was thinking along the archetypal lines of 2016, 2017 … and today brought a link to a colour meditation on the same theme, which feels timely:
http://colourconscious.com/aura-soma/2017-a-year-for-the-star/   … “By listening to our star and living our truth we take responsibility for the only part that is truly in our hands …” (Dominic Yeoman)

The ‘Philosophus’ chapter in Paul Foster Case’s The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order offers 6 keys for lovers of wisdom to contemplate further: Death, Star, Chariot … Temperance, World, Sun children.

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tarot philosophes 7.1.17

Sextet arrangement: tarot philosophus 7.1.17

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Arranged here in a six pointed star – the Seal of Solomon – is a visual analogy  that natural man is the seed-case of the spiritual man.  I’m a dull stick these days.  “Philosophus” means cultivating clarity, and the word is derived from Philo Sofia – lover of wisdom … “who might be compared to a man who has learned to read the architect’s plans. The house is yet to build.”

What is clarity?   Clarity is a process of alignment, perhaps a desire to contribute to a positive humanity, a collective Lighthouse.

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Lighthouse by Simon, circa 1965

Lighthouse by my brother Simon, circa 1965

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This morning  I seemed to be mouldering in a puddle – recovering from seasonal flu.  Then I thought of the Lighthouse:  a reflective focus.   Its shaft, its beam, penetrates the ocean depth and crosses the sea.  If I focus on that and give it time, my thought moves from fog into ‘precision tools’, into the quickening of community.   As I open into interior silence, I wait:  have faith: give it space.   The lenses above and below, converge.

click on image to view

 

The lighthouse shaft underwater, releases a flow of strength. Pictures are resurrected, taking on vibrance and meaning.   “May God be resurrected and his foes perish …  (Psalms).  As wax melts before the flame, as smoke is driven by the wind …”

bota-key-14-temperance

 

RESURRECT … and my dark sloth slithers off the branch.  There is a golden sound now in the Archangel pouring quintessential water and fire onto muddy Leo and Scorpio creatures … beneath the shadow of his iridescent wings and rainbow …  dipping his toe in the bottomless brook:  “Guidance is not a mere article of faith.  It is a matter of daily personal experience.”

 

 

 

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When it connects, it feels like scales dropping off as the Sun dawns.  There is a beautiful enigma with the androgyne who dances within the laurel of the World, and with the Children in their field:  they sparkle through the dew.   The smiling sunflowers all (except one – ) turn their faces to the children – the Seed of the Sun.  One sunflower-head watches the Sun, for form’s sake.  The childrens’ whole sexuality is in bud.  My fields are irrigated with the golden flow of their joy.  The world is darkened, but so is the closed interior of the unbroken seed.   The seed breaks into halves and into children.

 

 

In a nutshell, duties to life and community are perceived in a flash, which take time, labour and obscurity to realise.

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The dawn comes.  I have to approach it again and again and again.  To repeat by turning back the page to see what I wrote before – or what anyone else wrote – is not sufficient.  The key is turned afresh, to enlighten.  I have no illusions the enlightenment will last but it doesn’t matter:  it will come again. The Oracle never clones itself.

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Child and Grandmother, 2016

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The other 3 Keys (in the sextet above, in this post) are Death, the Star and the Chariot.   Death scythes the fertile ground.  The Star waters it.  The Chariot stands like a hyacinth or … a lighthouse with its keeper inside.

Go into the lamp room with its lenses and reflectors.  It is simple.  Light a candle, light my fire and let it travel across the sea.   Light it with a match or knock a spark from two flints.   The spark is within the stone (I wrote snow), like the flame within the wood, the cream within milk, the Upanishad.   The spark is Netzach on the Tree, the mating game … only connect.

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Netzach, Hod, Temperance on the Tree

Netzach, Hod, Temperance on the Tree

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In the hells on earth, there are gleams here and there, which give an individual  some strength to carry his child or to care for another;  persons leave their homes and go out into the thick of it.  The manna is directed into the core of Hope in the human seed.

What is the Star of Hope?   Hope is not an abstract.  Hope is the capacity to transfigure a dark situation into a light one.   Hope illumines the dark and turgid, and dispels hatred and fear.   One moment I am dead.  The next moment I am alive and kicking.   This is Hope.

This is what is meant by the Star …  the star the Magi followed.  Hope is an irrigation, converting desert into orchard and oasis.  It can begin nowhere else but here.

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Elisa & Mary in Iona - 2016

Elisa & Mary in Iona – 2016

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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.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2017. 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 – Sketches of Beethoven

 

Beethoven at Zum Roten Igel

Beethoven at Zum Roten Igel

Last week, I got very excited about this link:

https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/beethoven-guest-blogger/

Here, Elene explores a musician friend’s contact with Beethoven, comparing it to her own subtle relation with him and with Chopin.

It inspired me to dig out my old sketches of Ludwig Beethoven, and to see what happens: to try perhaps a new one.   I am reminded of a dream I had in 2011, of my hands like a child, and Beethoven touching them and looking onward … or mine resting on his:

My dream with Beethoven, 29 May 2011. He had Pluto and Venus in Capricorn - a musician's Hades-Persephone marriage.  Pluto is again in Capricorn - 2008-2024 - completing a cycle since Beethoven's day.    Pluto is the depth dredger in human affairs, but also represents - particularly in Capricorn - a depth and enduringness of human values, such as those which Beethoven  sang and wrote - as fresh these days, as ever.

My dream with Beethoven, 29 May 2011. He had Pluto and Venus in Capricorn – a musician’s Hades-Persephone marriage. Pluto is again in Capricorn – 2008-2024 – completing a cycle since Beethoven’s day. Pluto is the depth dredger in human affairs, but also represents – particularly in Capricorn – a depth and enduringness of human values, such as those which Beethoven heard, sang as he walked, and wrote. These values seemingly hidden by today’s turbulence, are perenially fresh for those who touch and find.

The Pluto Venus Capricorn glyph in this drawing speaks to me of the master’s depth and tenderness.

Journal 29 May 2011
“I dreamed – An eager young man, with some arrangement with Beethoven, built an Ascension vehicle which lifted us high to behold his vision and his project, for which he was gathering souls like mine, for faith and ballast.  The landscape was stupendously beautiful – a great smooth sunset sea surrounded by distant mountains, their crazy, graceful outlines rimmed with supernal light.  It was heart-catching: awe.  The sea – the LENS – was like a very large bay or inlet, because ‘inland’ or harbour seemed to be to the right, below.  It is my perennial vision of the human coastline and hinterland.  Have faith!

“The man spoke of it all, and somewhere I touched the back of Beethoven’s hand.  The vision was – as in the Eroica – of Beethoven’s divine pride and purpose.  Beethoven was immediately to hand, the writing all joined up.  It was time to go with the man and put it all into action …  the young man’s voice had an Australian twang … …

“… I listened to Beethoven’s Adieux, Therese, the Goblins and the Fourth piano concerto, all played by Arrau … Artists and musicians are forgiven much.  Grumpy old Beethoven – chunks of humanity off the old block – are put there for us to listen to their musical integrity, not to be wise or polite.

“I draw very slowly the line – and it was really hard to get a Beethoven likeness – eventually found photo of his sculpted head, taken from the life mask.  I think this is the one he didn’t like, as the weight of the plaster dragged down his face – so we ALL think he went around with mouth down turned at the corners, and maybe he didn’t.  He is said to have pursed his lips when concentrating, and certainly he stuck the lower one out.  His chin was cleft like a great shell.  His nose was ‘three cornered, like a lion’, his eyes rather small and exceptionally alive – changing colour, dark greenish hazel perhaps.  He tended to roll them upwards.  He was swarthy, pock marked, with leonine black hair ‘like a Spaniard’, and much hair over his body and hands.  He dressed elegantly when he was young.  When a fine lady complemented the nobility of his brow, he said ‘Salute it then, Madam’ and offered it to kiss.”

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Here is one of my efforts to sketch him yesterday – the young Beethoven, from the Hornemann portrait 1802:  before his deafness and at the height of his performing powers.

Young Beethoven, after Hornemann

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This drawing was done perhaps in the 1970s:  the older man bends close to the keys in his struggle to hear.

Beethoven plays

Beethoven plays

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The above portrait was inspired by this painting by an unknown artist – my father has the sepia photo.  I always assumed it was Ludwig Beethoven playing the violin, but if you look closely, you can see his life mask hanging on the wall … like a secret mirror.

beethoven violin

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When I was a child we lived in a farmhouse with a large attic.  Exploring up there, I found this cobwebbed photo of a painting by Franz Stvk.  I have it still.

Beethoven by Franz Stvk

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When I was young, I played a lot of Beethoven on the piano, and identified – often painfully – with his darkness.  In the 1980s I teamed with a violinist, Fred Barschak, and together we climbed the mountains of the Spring, Kreuzer and Seventh Violin Sonatas.

Beginning to play the Spring Sonata

 

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Here are my earlier sketches of Beethoven, and their sources:

beethoven on a walk

beethoven on a walk

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Beethoven at work

Beethoven at work

This portrait was inspired by Batt’s drawing (below) in the Oxford Companion to Music.

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Gallery: Beethoven by Batt, Klein, Stvk and von Kloeber

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Beethoen in later life

Beethoen in later life

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More early studies – I made his forehead much higher than it really was.  Beethoven’s brow had a noble, rounded breadth.

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Beethoven after the painting by F.Schimon

Beethoven after the painting by F.Schimon

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These two pages are from a journal in 1969, quoting Schindler’s visit to the master when he was composing the Missa Solemnis Credo.

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And … within the cosmos of the late Quartets –

Beethoven in last quartets mode

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Glancing at Elene’s other posts touching on Beethoven, here is a teaching of his to a pianist-composer friend – he sat in the car and said to Elene’s friend, “How do you get the perfect cut of meat? – you trim away all the fat.”   While reading the earlier post, ‘More on Lou van B’, these words came to me:  “before sitting down to play Beethoven, open and fill your heart with love.”

It is a struggle for me to find him sometimes – like climbing over fences.  Perhaps it is the spiritual battle of the “heroic” with love;  the personal ego with the truth;  the ‘I-can-and-I-will’ with ‘listen’ … inheriting Beethoven’s philosophical dilemma in the Quartet opus 135 – must it be? It must be.

piano action

piano action

I am at present “exercising” Emily’s baby grandpiano in Southgate. It has a beautiful faded case;  her father used to play popular classics on it, but he died nearly 30 years ago, and no one  touched it since.  The poor thing had sagged to honky tonk with three stuck notes, and yet I found a good, light action.  I persuaded them to have it tuned.  The sleeping beauty is in shock!  – and now between tunings to stabilise – all her strings woke up and stretched and some of them already slipped.   I put a vase of water underneath and a small dish of water inside, to counteract the heating in the house.

Yet her voice came out, singing and mellow, in the quieter places, quite sensual.  It was wonderful to play and hear it in the restful, faded drawing-room which opens onto the long wisteria garden.  I enjoyed a strange sense of flow and freedom of tone across the ‘vertical’ hammer system, in terms of touch and tenderness:  Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and other slow movements spoke with love, and so did Bach preludes.  Some of the bass notes growl. My fingers were – magically – not in the way.  I thought of the Liszt method in Paul Roes’ book Music – the Mystery and the Reality.   Magic happens in an individual variety of tone – part of the charm which older pianos have – which challenges me to find and adapt to its way of singing.  The new or electronic instruments don’t have that playful intimacy.

Instrument.  This is actually my father's Petrof piano, as I have not yet photographed Emily's.

Instrument. This is actually my father’s Petrof piano, as I have not yet photographed Emily’s.

Interestingly, in Elene’s post on conversations with Beethoven, he says new agey views of higher plane diaphanous white robes are nonsense – we wear what we wore in history and sometimes dress up in contemporary style for fun – like he did in a 1940s brown suit.  “He still loves rain, baths, showers and the woods.  His house is in the woods.”  Because generation after generation discover and interpret his music, his commitment to humanity is timeless, covering a very wide landscape, and continually refreshed … “A German word in the ear, meaning energy flowing:  projection:  Vorsprung – projects like rock.

Have we a Beethoven forum?  Visit also https://edwardianpiano.wordpress.com/my-poetry/ for some evocative verse, haiku and pictures of Beethoven I never saw before.  This fascinating site turned up last week in synchrony with Elene’s Beethoven, Guest Blogger;  I had to jump in.

TO BE CONTINUED – my new attempts to draw Beethoven, and some more impressions.

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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 2012-2015. 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 – Refugee Children

What can a war artist do?

Yazidi 1

A photo is quickly taken, sold to a news agency, reacted to in passing by millions, and passed over.  A drawing takes far longer in time and space, to contemplate the condition. I did this one and two others, yesterday.  Some more were done last week, and the rest are from a few years ago. .

Our children are the same for us the world over.  This woman works hard on the land and in her household.  She holds it all together, and carries the weight of water from the well.  She gave birth to her babies in pain and crying out and relief; they are her life, each one.  Her husband may or may not be a strong, caring father. .

Now their homestead and village is shattered:  they wait homeless on the waterless mountain.  She is vulnerable.  In a war zone, you do not know who is friend or rapist – like an earthquake.  Her children are hungry and there is no roof.  There is the tearing pain inside her belly, of anxiety and shock:  the soft smell of her baby:  the bewildered bravery of her daughter as a journalist’s lens draws near.  They are rounded up like goats, by unknown herders. .

She is my sister.  I live in a safe house with interesting things to do, and plenty to eat.  I can only reach out by drawing her, to touch, that she may feel somehow, somewhere that someone knows.  Send her strength …  Even now … wherever she is. .

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Yazidi 2

He’s a father, and they lost their mother.  The children want to help him, and don’t know how.  On their terrifying journey to survival, it is the artist’s way to support them.  Loaded on a donkey they ride off into uncertain night, the first desolate steps through quicksand, of an astounding courage. .

It is humiliating to have your home torn away and to ride with all you can carry on the donkey to God knows where?

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Yazidi child 2

The newspaper said:  She has a badly needed drink.   While I was drawing her – and it took me nearly all day –  I wondered a lot about what blinds a man or boy, to kill or hurt a beautiful child like this in the name of fundamentalism.

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Gaza children 1

I singled these children out from a crowd in Gaza –  two brothers and a sister. They watch perhaps the bombing of their street – evacuated.  A rope to hold back the crowd, threads together each child’s parentless abyss…   the grownups’ broken world

Gaza 2

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refugee children 2

This was a design for a Christmas card some years ago – a refugee camp anywhere and the Star.

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Valerie Brooks

The late Valerie Brooks gave 17 years of her life to support children in distress.  Through her cleaner, (a doctor from West Ukraine who could earn more for her family by cleaning houses in London, than by practicing medicine in her home town) assistance was given also to a poverty-stricken Ukrainian community, through the Maria Relief Fund  http://mariarelieffund.org.uk/ .   A network of friends and sponsors helps to support each family there, and to establish an English class and educational opportunities for their children. .  It is an extended family.

Many large charities lose their definition in administrative overheads.  Smaller charities operate in a grass-roots way through human contact and serendipity.  The Maria Relief Fund is a small registered charity, assisting displaced children around the world.  I am associated with it and also with the Phoenix Aid Centre .  PAC provides accessible therapy and counselling for refugees, victims of abuse and for all who might rise from their ashes and fly. .

A man or woman who brought their family from danger into safety – through the final hurdle of UK border control and language barrier – drew on reserves of superhuman values, to make their quantum leap, and integrate with a new culture.  Such persons have that gift to contribute – when these qualities within them are recognised.  So we should find it within ourselves, to recognise. .

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village child, ukraine

This is a village child in Ukraine.

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refugee children 1

More refugees on displaced borderlands – the children take care of each other.  They are our future – the unbreakable jewel within us.   The Age of Aquarius breaks down old walls.

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Kristina is a talented girl in the Ukraine, whom I help to sponsor.  She lives with her granny and grandad, who worry what will happen to her when they die.

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dancing children, ukraine

Dancers at a village festival in West Ukraine.

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

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

aquariel link

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

 

Tales of the Watershed – Chinese Torch Prints

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fish by Steven Szegedy Szuts

fish by Steven Szegedy Szuts

Dreams No.89   May 1975

IF YOU were Chinese …

If who was Chinese?   Me, you or history?

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

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

So far so good.

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

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

old tao sage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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child caught tasting pebbles - Art-Not-Doing 1987

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

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

aquariel link

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

The Pool of Life

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Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral

This post is a partner to yesterday’s Liverpool sketchbooks (for my archive) – Jung’s dream in 1927 of Liverpool.

His pioneering journey into the unconscious was extraordinary and illumined the way for generations to come.  As I and many others travel on his shoulders, the places he visited keep joining up with mine, and feel startlingly familiar.  I had similar dreams of a dark city, mountainous in scale,  with a glowing centre and even a pool or inlet from the sea.  It was  the city of the mind – a many towered labyrinth.   In one of these dreams I was a fish in the pool, and someone threw a line, hooked my nose and flipped me onto dry land.  Ouch!

Here are extracts from the chapter Confrontation with the Unconscious in Jung’s  “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”.  The chapter first describes the creation of the Red Book. Then:

“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self.  There is no linear evolution;  there is only a circumambulation of the self.  Uniform development exists at most, only at the beginning;  later everything points towards the centre .  This insight gave me stability, and gradually my inner peace returned.  I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self, I had attained what was for me the ultimate.  Perhaps someone else knows more, but not I.

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Window on Eternity by C G Jung - Red Book

Window on Eternity by C G Jung – Red Book

“In 1927 I obtained confirmation of my ideas about the centre and the self by way of a dream.  I represented its essence in a picture which I called ‘Window on Eternity’.  The picture is reproduced in ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’.  A year later I painted a second mandala, with a golden castle in the centre.  When it was finished, I asked myself, ‘Why is this so Chinese?’

The Golden Castle by C G Jung - Red Book

The Golden Castle by C G Jung – Red Book

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“… Shortly afterwards I received a letter from Richard Wilhelm enclosing the manuscript of a Taoist-alchemical treatise entitled ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower‘, with a request that I write a commentary on it.  I devoured the manuscript at once, for the text gave me an undreamed of confirmation of my ideas about the mandala and the circumambulation of the centre.  That was the first event which broke through my isolation.  I became aware of an affinity;  I could establish ties with someone and someone.

“In remembrance of this coincidence, this synchronicity, I wrote underneath the picture which had made so Chinese an impression on me:  ‘In 1928, when I was painting this picture showing the golden, well fortified castle, Richard Wilhelm in Frankfurt sent me the thousand year old Chinese text on the yellow castle, the germ of the immortal body.’

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Rocky 86.JPG - detail, train in city

“This is the dream I mentioned earlier.  I found myself in a dirty, sooty city.  It was night, and winter, and dark, and raining.  I was in Liverpool.  

With a number of Swiss – say, half a dozen – I walked through the dark streets.  I had the feeling that there we were coming from the harbour, and that the real city was actually up above, on the cliffs.  We climbed up there.  

It reminded me of Basel, where the market is down below and then you go up through the Alley of the Dead, which leads to a plateau above, and so to the Petersplatze and Peterskirche.  

“When we reached the plateau, we found a broad square dimly illumined by street lights, into which many streets converged.  The various quarters of the city were arranged radially around the square.  In the centre was a round pool, and in the middle of it a small island.  

While everything round about was obscured by rain, fog, smoke and dimly lit darkness, the little island blazed with sunlight.  On it stood a single tree, a magnolia, in a shower of reddish blossoms.  It was as though the tree stood in the sunlight and was at the same time the source of light. 

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“My companions commented on the abominable weather, and obviously did not see the tree.  They spoke of another Swiss who was living in Liverpool, and expressed surprise that he should have settled here.  I was carried away by the beauty of the flowering tree and the sunlit island, and thought, ‘I know very well why he has settled here.’  Then I awoke.

Swan Hebrew letter Beit

Swan Hebrew letter Beit

“On one detail of the dream I must add a supplementary comment:  the individual quarters of the city were themselves arranged radially around a central point.  This point formed a small open square illuminated by a larger street lamp, and constituted a small replica of the island.  I knew that the ‘other Swiss’ lived in the vicinity of one of these secondary centres.

“This dream represented my situation at the time.  I can still see the greyish-yellow raincoats, glistening with the wetness of the rain.  Everything was extremely unpleasant, black and opaque – just as I felt then.  But I had had a vision of unearthly beauty, and that is why I was able to live at all.   Liverpool is the ‘pool of life’.  The ‘liver’ according to an old view, is the seat of life – that which ‘makes to live’.” 

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(The Liver of Life!   His Window of Eternity mandala shows – like a grid – the city districts as holograms.  Each is as the whole, with its illumining centre and radii:  our human connectivity, beyond the box of space and time:  macrocosm of the microcosm.  When we awake we discover our imagined isolation was a fantasy.)

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“This dream brought with it a sense of finality.  I saw that here the goal had been revealed. One could not go beyond the centre.  The centre is the goal, and everything is directed towards that centre.  Through this dream I understood that the self is the principle and archetype of orientation and meaning.  Therein lies its healing function … Out of it emerged a first inkling of my personal myth. 

“After this dream I gave up painting mandalas …” 

Jung age 85

Jung age 85

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The Liverpool dream looks to me like a four-dimensional snapshot of Jung’s whole working life.   The lamp which the Red Book kept alight during World War One, glowed very deep, hidden inside the dark, but it passed from soul to soul.

During the following decades, Jung worked with clients – high achievers – who were deeply depressed and searching for a reason to live at all.  European society, collectively shattered by the carnage in the trenches, and with Nazism on the rise, endured dense clouds of scepticism and banality – the mind’s dark glamour.

He discovered that if he encouraged his patients to paint what they felt and saw, something in them took charge of the process and led them to an unexpected interior contact.  As the healing awoke, it took charge of the patient who began to open doors.  

Dr Jung found it had little to do with himself as therapist.  His job was to lead his patients to the underground stream, on which they floated paper boats.   Art therapy was born.   It is for ourselves, each one, to contact the unique inner mystery which unites us.

Wandering Fool with DNA and paper boats

Wandering Fool with DNA and paper boats – 1988

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Jung himself had pioneered the way, through the Red Book;  he told very few people about it, (though he showed some of his paintings to those whom he trusted) – but it rekindled by morphic resonance, as in “Window of Eternity”.

In his book Modern Man in Search of a Soul, he describes the new discoveries with his clients.

Jung and his house at Bollingen

Jung and his house at Bollingen

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Gene Keys Golden Path Program

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

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

aquariel link

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

 

Sacred India Tarot Archive: Arrows Queen & King – Draupadi and Garuda

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Shape shifter - Eagle King (2002)

Shape shifter – Eagle King (2002)

With the Queen and King of Swords (Arrows), this suit transmutes to its creative realm of power and grace – Indra’s thunder and Draupadi’s forest magic.

Sit in the forest and hear the rainfall: the swords of the sunlight, reaching earth.  Throughout the suit of Arrows which express the Laws of Heaven, we lived, accepted and illumined our Shadow.  As often said before in this series, the Arrow turns into a Wand – a staff of authority – powered by eagles’ feather.

caduceus, staff of hermes

Rohit’s Notes – 2004 “Some things about Draupadi are very clear.  She was fantastically intelligent, very beautiful and a very tough cookie.  She was also in all the descriptions rather voluptuous, and – we need to be very careful about this – her skin was black.  

“In fact, her first name was Krishnaa – the feminine of Krishna –  and it means the same thing: Black.  She had extremely long unbounded hair.  She is like the Queen of pentacles, but without the softness;  a more intense, slightly angry expression, as her temper was famous, and holding a bow and arrow as she also practiced archery.  Her dark skin is essential;  for too long, India has depicted her with peaches and cream.  She should be clad in sky blue clothing.  She had a peculiar preference to stand and dispute matters with her husbands the Pandava princes instead of sitting down.  So she should be standing upright, perhaps leaning on her bow.”

Vedic bow and arrow

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Jane’s Notes – This Queen is liberated from prejudice and cruelty to the feminine.  She is no copy or competitor of the male.   She stands in her strength and knowledge, having loved her men, carried their children and won her battles.  She has in her the hidden force of the forest, the earth and the stars.   Her consort is the Eagles’ strength and vision, riding the skies and watching the rivers.

This woman bears fruit, wherever she is not demonised by civil wars, religious dogma and the media.  The shadow of sexual ignorance, inflation and persecution is still a core wound of our world today, in every form of waste and tribal conflict.  But the liberated core eros, the rose of life in men and women, is human evolution … and wide like an eagle to the sky, it opens wings.

Look within my mind, when it is closed.   Whose battle standard do I blindly follow?  Whom am I taught, by political Spin, to hate? – where do I vote with the herd, without knowing?   The Spin-word is interesting, implying the random placement of a gaming wheel.  I borrow my opinions from other opinions, and put my stake on them.

This woman has no stake, but truth.   Do you dare?

SITA visual reference - Draupadi

SITA visual reference – Draupadi

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Rohit’s Notes – from his Book with the Deck: “One of the greatest and saddest women in Indian myth is Draupadi – the dark beauty – the daughter born of Divine fire to King Drupada.  She is one of the five exemplars of chaste, wifely devotion (the original meaning of Siva’s first wife Sati) and yet her Karma caused her to simultaneously have five brothers as husbands. 

Sacred India Tarot - Krishna in Mahabharatha

Sacred India Tarot – Krishna in Mahabharatha – Detail

“In an age of polygamy, rife with hatred and jealousy, Draupadi was universally acclaimed for not only living in peace with her husbands and their co-wives, but for having gained their overwhelming love and respect too.  For everyone she was the pinnacle. 

“The inspiring eloquence that characterised her speech gave her the best lines in the Mahabaratha epic.  Her best friend and only intellectual equal of the day was the god Krishna.  Draupadi was as great a warrior as her husband Arjuna, as wise as his eldest brother Yudhistara, as tempestuous and generous as the middle brother Bhima, as versed in statecraft and the arts as the youngest twins, her husbands Nakula and Sahadeva, and yet left doubting if any of them really loved her.

“She was also the most beautiful woman of her time, and her great spiritual powers had rendered her eternally youthful.  The epitomy of grace under pressure, she would not however, forgive and forget lightly.  Every injury and slight had to be avenged, preferably in blood, and crossing her was normally a death sentence.  Yet she could display a calm mercy when everybody was seething for blood; her most magnificent moment being sparing the life of her childrens’ murderer.

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“In a reading:  Hugely talented and capable people … having tasted sorrow, they prefer to go it alone.   Independent action and thought … Extremely charming and persuasive but … very combative on behalf of those they like, of for issues they believe in … Cannot be manipulated or emotionally blackmailed.

“Shadow – neglectful in relationships, especially of children …   Intolerant and troubled.  Detached misleading flirtation which lands other persons in hot water.  Divorce, separated, widowed, multiple relationships or the energy thereof … Cold fury if crossed.  Dangerous enemy.   Are you trying to do everything by yourself?   Unlucky in love?  Do you need to manifest your strength and not depend on others?”

I drew these two Queens (and many others) when I was about eight years old.

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SACRED INDIA TAROT – Queen Draupadi of Arrows is a wild dark huntress, like Diana in the west – a formidable encounter for any unprepared male. Note the snake around the sinuous tree. The publishers of the deck requested she wear pantaloons, respecting the conventions in contemporary Indian art; but here is the original drawing.

Sacred India Tarot - Queen Draupadi of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – Queen Draupadi of Arrows

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Through the Royals in the Suit of Arrows, a shape-shifting occurs, as the animal kingdom – the animal soul – becomes integrated and uplifted into human consciousness.   Hanuman the Knight  embodies the simian intelligence, loyalty and strength – our ancient vital thread in the gene pool.

Garuda the King has an eagle’s face and wings.

Eagle King shape shift 2

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As a friend of mine wrote:  “the dung of the eagle flies higher than we do.  The dung of the ox falls deeper than we do.”  We ignore or disrespect our elder animal nature at our peril.  We know very little of our ancient Friend.  We try to make a pet of it.

In Pullman’s His Dark Materials, each human (rightly) was companioned by his or her animal daemon, furred or feathered:  our essential gravity..

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Rohit’s Notes (2004)  “I am prepared to go with Garuda instead of Yudhishtara (original choice).  The two Kings of the Air could be Garuda and Indra, both atmospheric AIR signs, which is after all the suit of arrows.  The illustrations depicting Garuda and Indra could be used as a base, though Indra should probably be shown in profile.

SITA visual reference from comic book - Indra & Garuda

SITA visual reference from comic book – Indra & Garuda

Correspondence – Rohit “Gautam, we need a picture of a vajra, the thingie that is on top of our meditation bell.  I will try and bring pictures with me.  Do a search of Tibetan vajras on the net.  Garuda articles and the Garudra Indra picture from the comic we have scanned already so that is no problem.  Take a picture of your Garuda and send it to Jane.

Tibetan Vajra

Tibetan Vajra

 “Indra’s Vajra could be drawn in a somewhat Tibetan style.  Garuda could be shown conventionally, but the colours should be carefully maintained.  Golden body, white eagle face and blood red wings characterise him.  Indra can be clad in the white silver and blue to depict his role as Lord of the sky and winds and rain.

“I prefer to go with this option, because we get Indra who was after all a major player in the Vedic faith into the pack, and we also get Garuda in, and he is the ‘Michael’ archetype as seen by Indian eyes.”

Shape shifter - Eagle king 3.  These shape shifters had an Egyptian archetype in mind, but serve as well to develop the concept of Garuda.

Shape shifter – Eagle king 3. These shape shifters when I drew them, had an Egyptian archetype in mind, but serve as well to develop the concept of Garuda.

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From Rohit Arya’s Book with the Deck:  “Garuda the senior servant of Vishnu, and Hanuman the junior servant, are the strongest of the strong powers in the universe.  However, both these great beings have dedicated their lives to service instead of using their powers to rule over the cosmos … 

“Garuda the cosmic Eagle was the child of the rishi Kashyapa.  Between his mother Vinata and her co-wife Kadru, mother of serpents, there was sufficient bad blood and malice for Vinata to become Kadru’s slave.  To ransom her, Garuda undertook the forcible removal of amrit – elixir of immortality and source of the power of the devas.  This brought him into reluctant conflict with the Indra, King of the Devas.  Indra chose discretion as the better part of valour, and made an ally of Garuda, craftily blessing him with eternal rights over snakes as his food!

“Garuda’s strength is so megatherian, that one single feather of his wings can hold up a planet.  Behind the titanic roaring of his wings can be heard the eternal hymns of the Vedas.  His unblinking eyes denote his conquest of sleep, and his infallible gaze penetrates all.  His aura blazes like the fires of cosmic destruction.  Repeating his name thrice keeps snakes away at night … 

In a reading:  Mentors and guides. Wise and knowledgeable about human nature.  Powerful analytical mind and … unexpected sense of humour.   More head than heart.  Intolerance of restrictions and conventionality … Good at romance, but it doesn’t interest him!  Values respect over likeability, knowledge over feelings, lofty ideals.  Fierce warriors if need be.

Shadow:  Easily bored and mind scatters itself … Exaggerated lone-wolf attitudes – don’t involve me.  Fine judgement becomes judging others … the fearsome mind is a weapon used to wound.

“People would like you, even love you, if you gave them a chance.  Unbend and relax a little.  Sometimes the most intelligent thing may be to listen to your heart.”

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Durga shoots buffalo king

Durga shoots buffalo king Mahisha.

Among hunter communities of the Pandyan lands, whenever the community experienced hardships, they used to choose a young girl from among their clan, decorated her like Durga, and worshiped her as Mahishasura-mardhini, the one who killed Mahisha, the buffalo.  One of the decorative features of this girl was that an eye was painted on her forehead.  (Reference: http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/guest-blogger-jayasree-is-vedic.html )

I include this snippet, because the Eagle’s ascent through Garuda IS the opening of the third eye, as seen in the sketches and in the finished painting below.

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In the end, I chose to let Indra be Garuda’s “celestial background”.  Garuda is Master of the skies and Indra is the lightning flash.

SACRED INDIA TAROT – The King of Arrows:  Garuda is half an eagle. His human face is a double eagle, as in alchemy. The eagle’s vision flies as high as the serpents travel deep.

Guided by Indra’s Lightning, Garuda is a great ruler. He balances Planet Earth lightly on a feather, raises his arrow like the Queen of Justice in the west, and contains his Yogic ojas – the male seed. Before him, the Caducean pair of serpents rest on the ground, entwined.

Sacred India Tarot - King Garuda of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – King Garuda of Arrows

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Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit to Jane – 2 March 2005 “Hi Jane, herewith Rohit’s feedback.  Warm regards, Gautam.”

“Gautam, the Garuda with the Indra looking over his shoulder is fantastic.  The Draupadi is very good too – as good – though she will need a dhoti-trouser instead of the mini she is currently wearing. Otherwise she will be confused with tribal Rakshasee Hidambas, mother of Ghatkolkacha, son of Bheema.  Like with Durga, the dhoti-trouser look is best, both authentic as well as uncontroversial.  Also, people will not buy a poster of a Draupadi in a mini skirt.  But the way she has been captured – this is the real Draupadi.  

“Fantastic cards.   Rohit.”

female golden eagle returns to nest.  www.nickdunlop.com

female golden eagle returns to nest. http://www.nickdunlop.com

I like to see this great Mother come back as she always does, to nest and feed her little King.  Garuda, Indra and Draupadi – may You go forth, and may our heart and eye and mind remain wide open to Your blessing and freedom.

Vedic Hymns to Indra

In the ascending slope of the mountains,
in the confluence of the streams,
by the Goddess-understanding the sage was born.

Hence being conscious at the summit
he looks down upon the sea
from which vibrating, he stirs.

Then they see the morning light
of the primordial seed when beyond Heaven
it is enkindled.

The imperious hawk, the song bird taking the stalk,
the joyous delight from the beyond, brought the Soma.
Godlike, the bird grasped it firmly,
which he had received from the highest heaven.

The hawk took the Soma he received
through a thousand times ten thousand effusions.
Thus the Goddess of bountiful intelligence abandoned the ungiving;
in the ecstasy of Soma she in wisdom
abandoned the foolish.

“The knowledge of the Self is the hawk or eagle, the bird of the Sun, the free spirit.  It carries the highest bliss, which it effuses infinitely.  The Goddess of bountiful intelligence is the consort or mind of Indra, our own soul that is released through this knowledge of the Divine I am, the I am All …”

Translation and commentary by David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) “Wisdom of the Ancient Seers” Motilal Banarssidas, Delhi, 1994)

Indra

Indra

The Sacred India Tarot Archive series in this blog will conclude with the Suit of Wands (Staves) – episodes from the Ramayana epic, including the crossing to Sri Lanka to liberate Sita from the demon Ravanna.

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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 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.

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/

Odyssey & Therapeutic Empathy

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profiles frontispiece

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How do we journey to the Self? We bring together two approaches, which enrich each other. Their creative combination enhances the discovery process.  We need:  A broad data base, a depth-sounder for information.

Image: On a boat we start to make a map of the unseen seabed.

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"This Shows the Way" - Rosicrucean Emblem One

“This Shows the Way” – Rosicrucean Emblem One

That means becoming receptive, and registering what is “picked up”, like a graph or seismic counter: drawing it, or writing the images which come first to mind.   Gradually these join up, and a picture of the sea-bed appears.

The sea-bed represents the subconscious: the boat is the surface consciousness.  We are needing data, in this “unknown”. We seek a personal and social interaction: Commitment.

  “Acts are intentional experiences, not mental activities.
They are either intuitive and full, or signitive and empty.”
Clark Moustakas

The old knowledge: the data we have – persons, situations and opinions – interacts with the NEW.  A starting point for the odyssey is: “What answer am I looking for?”

The fundamental assumption is, “I don’t know”.  In a subatomic interaction, particles collide and the energy of their annihilation emits/creates a new particle or photon.  Similarly, our current knowledge collides with the new picture coming in, releasing  a fresh (experiential) insight. Describe the picture I see as it emerges from Unknown.

An odyssey begins with a desire to know what is not known.

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Jung in his Study

Jung in his Study

“Your unknowing stems from the previous harmlessness of your life, from the peaceful passage of time, and from the absence of the God. But if the God draws near, your essence starts to seethe and the black mud of the depths whirls up.”

The Red Book, C.G.Jung

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Again I find myself empathising Jung’s sorrow for his father’s dutiful unbelief and spiritual sterility. This unhappy pastor father figure was central in Jung’s troubled soul.

mobius one

Empathy is what happens when we start to travel inside.   Empathy is this figure of eight when the personal spheres of healer and wound overlap, and it is voluntary from one side or another. One side VOLunteers a psychic receptivity, and to ask questions which will turn the other’s tap to flow. (The root syllable VOL means the will, the willing.) Or, the VOLunteer is silent, feeling the other.   Whichever – it is interactive. Empathy is interactive, and empathy sparks profound commitment and interest in the subject.

Empathy at its best, awakens in the empathee, that keen, attentive interest for its own sake, and can sometimes deliver him or her – birth.

It is subjective, because VOLunteer and empathee share the subjectivity.   Then it becomes “objective”.  The empathee is not alone now.

murmuration of starlings, gretna green

murmuration of starlings, gretna green

 

The empathee might want to be alone – might find the VOLunteer intrusive – but that is another angle. Generally speaking, genuine compassion does not intrude, and is responded to.   Compassion is a rock in a hard place.   Compassion comes from having been there.

So we have Jung and his patients, seeking the deeper river which heals the soul. And on the journey, the phenomena show up.  “Phenomenon” stems from the Greek phainos, to flare or rise up.  As we receive the phenomena, they turn “Heuristic” – the Self search, or Self-enquiry.   As soon as there is active empathy in the quest, it turns inward (the Greek word Heuristic means to discover or find);  the seeker lets go of his or her self-concern, and begins to IMMERSE – diving into the heart of the matter: a shared textural mystery.

phen heur triad

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This happens through dialogue, and when it happens, the point extends and triangulates the two persons.

Empathy triangles 12 June

When we are mutually empathised, the conversation is FERTILE, with a fluid, moving centre.   When we are truly empathised, we are heard, whether we speak or are silent.  The sensitive topic no longer obstructs. It grows richly humane. When we are empathised, we awake to our holistic Self and are objective.  It is like striking flint to spark and light a fire.   There is trust.

How to feel the way in?  It is difficult, when defensive or on overload, and hanging onto our garments.  It requires an act of creative, positive imagination, to step into the other’s shoes, what is it like to see through those eyes?  In the Gurdjieff work, this is called “external considering” and it is radical.  “Internal considering“, on the other hand, is when we go on fantasising about what the other person might think or do.   (See Maurice Nicoll’s Commentaries.)

Empathy triangles 2 12 June_0001

When we are empathised, trust flows, where mistrust was walled up.  Drink from the full bucket the rainbow waters of the deep well with far horizons.   Drink together from it.

Trust opens shell when the spark is struck – the CONNECTION.   The CONNECTION happens when the essence of the empathee begins to flow, to flower forth.   The connection happens when the empathee feels safe enough to “come out”.   It happens in creative art, poetry and portraiture, and it happens in dialogue, therapy and friendship.   It happens between lovers.  The connection is a subconscious cognition of “the bigger picture”.  Until connection happens, language is wooden.   When connection opens, language is infinitely vibrant and versatile.   Language opens the box, laughs and cries out loud, and lives.

d.harding be as you are 2

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Life resurrects.   It is like Isis resurrecting Osiris.   These great Archetypes refer to simple items in human exchange, from despair to hope.

Raising a Captive Knight

Traumatised persons have wooden tongues, and their heart is locked. We cannot tell, when we are locked in pain. Only a few persons are able to tell the truth of their trauma, while it still smashes their soul.

(I know someone who could, and did.   So remember … What is this doing to me now?   Some “involuntary” surfacing of the anguish. It is a memory, and it informs my NOW. Let it rise, be heard, and fall. A feeling. It is known well, and need not dwell on it. It passes.   See what it transforms to, and smile.   Smile with it, COMPLETELY.   Reach into the past pile of compost, touch it, smile again with the ch’i, it clears its nature.   Did we not feel, way back then, the brightening future sky – the help, the wisdom coming from “there”, which is HERE? )

“Heuristic” – phonetically – is the quest into HERE.

All quests when they go deep enough, turn transpersonal. The individual shrinks rapidly into the speed of light crescendo.   There is an old Einstein diagram of this/can’t find it, but here is one:

page from Einstein's Zurich notebook

page from Einstein’s Zurich notebook

On telling the truth of our trauma: as those who work with victims of abuse, torture and political extremism know well – it takes time and much patience, to be there, and encourage the traumatised one to begin to speak their nightmare … perhaps by using paints and pens and clay, perhaps by being in a circle, or in a friendship, or helping someone else; perhaps by the victim spelling into a poem, what happened.

Being able at last to write it down, and see it on the page, brings an unexpected relief and courage in the blood.   And again.   And again, and again …

pelican & phoenix, A.Roob

What is the relief?   Connection with wider humanity.   Expansion of the psyche.   The life it brings to the pulse, is extraordinary.

Rage converts to courage.   Conversation is conversion.

Sacrifice means to make holy.
Do not allow the Nefesh in you to dominate.
You do not kill it.
It is what you surrender to the Creator.

The Nefesh is tempered along the vine, for the grapes to swell.

Einstein on bike after “fixing it”

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

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

aquariel link

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

Two Pictures

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Sacred India Tarot - the Ashwins

Sacred India Tarot – the Ashwins

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In the Vedic constellations (Jyotish), the Ashwins are in Aries, the sign of the New.

“The Ashwin twins are elder Vedic gods.  They were heralds of the dawn.  They left an impact in the sculptural forms depicting Skanda and the Buddha in later history.  As Solar deities, they were the first physicians – doctors to humanity as well as to the gods.  They were that rarest of heroes – intellectuals who could act decisively.  They were described as dazzlingly handsome, and as intellectual in action, the powers of movement, fierce-making in their paths … to think and act are one.  They healed countless numbers of the lame, and restored sight to the blind.

“They give that impelling energy for the great work which, having for its nature and substance the light of the Truth, carries man beyond the darkness.

From an article by Rohit Arya

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Moon child is taken for a ride with Hermes (Aquarius)

Moon child is taken for a ride with Hermes Trismegistos (Aquarius)

I dreamed in the night I rode a new bike, with a back-rest.  Here is my drawing of it, 27 years ago.  Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.  Peace.

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**

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

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

aquariel link

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

 

Grand Easter Cross, Part 4 – Problems

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Angel with rabbit, 1988

Angel with rabbit, 1988

There is a small green book by the astrologer Roy Gillett called Economy, Ecology and Kindness.  It reviews the major astrological events during the present two decades of Pluto in Capricorn, and its thesis is of turning-point:  it is crucial for “kindness” to begin to pervade governmental and financial institutions progressively, as in our kindred, our relationships and with Nature, at all levels.   Well worth a read.   And kindness begins at home.

I am having quite a hard time just now – unkind to myself –  and serendipitous insights from fellow bloggers give me a real pick-me-up in the morning!   Charlie wrote:  “At what point did kindness fall down, leaving the mind in charge of the rest of an entire life? … At the very bottom of the well there is you and your heart … a sacred temple for one … it matters how you vibrate and hold space.”

And this one, following Katie’s post on our mind as autopilot (see the comments also) – the challenge to discriminate this and to develop conscious creative thought:   “Mind gets on an unhelpful track and runs with it … (It is so helpful to share and realise this) … Every day is another chance to try it out.”

ANY UNHELPFUL TRACK, yes!   I am trying, as all my life, to disconnect from those unhelpful tracks, and reach the kindness in the bottom of the well.   It is hard. There is no success. It doesn’t get better or easier.   Each time the same bleak misery, then identify, name it, and disengage – and glimpse space and truth through the fog – the same struggle. Poor Easter bunny!

Seeking enlightenment

Seeking enlightenment

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Actually I spent the whole of Easter Sunday – after finishing and posting “Magdalene” – in bed (my burrow) reading Joanna Trollope and having short sleeps (by evening I was unhappy again).

Anyway, this is the poor old human condition, and we are in a mess, because we valiantly espouse our UNHELPFUL TRACKS and fervently believe in them.   The problem is my belief in myself being bad. The scolding mother has an embedded authority, and asserts this belief as top news item, come on, don’t tell lies, own up.

On the other hand, the weekend’s Tarot oracles show the lovers, the fool, and strength, they show me pujas and rose gardens, it beams to me the solace and articulate wisdom of fellow bloggers, THIS is real, this is the real condition, not my mental-assertive concrete bits.  Caught between the two, and with pain and grief in my stomach, I yet see my mind’s “unhelpful track” for what it is, ephemeral.  This helps me “lose” its command station, its power over my mood, its way of shutting me down.

But by yesterday evening, I was without community again.   That is what it does.

I am in community again now, thanks to writing, and I note my weakness; the idea I should do or be something bold and strong for Easter Grand Cross Bunny, and Pluto on my Jupiter – I feel actually overwhelmed and disabled by it all.   As a volunteer, I standunder the human condition –  where it lives, where we live in and out of community.   This is a useful definition.

The well - November 2013

The well – November 2013

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I live alone, and am vulnerable to battle and monitor these states.   That is to say: to endure them, and keep remembering – just enough – to awake from within them; to be kind?   to feel what is true. Kindness and … (visually) broken concrete slabs and landfill – the hard, dead, crumbling rubbish that gets thrown into the well – this and kindness –  kindness is the deep dark water which breathes.   Focus on kindness as “real love”.   Focus the open and never ending story.   Make this thought-form “Accurate, profound, courageous, positive” as Paul Foster Case wrote of Tarot Key 8 Soul Strength.

Change the pattern, and you change the result.

And if I go under and have to keep starting over, this is not failure.   It is work in progress.   It always even if for a brief time each day, awakes.   This is ongoing.

Good meditators and advaitins spurn the mind.   Some people have an ability to set themselves apart from the unhelpful tracks.   I haven’t.   And perhaps it is my nature and my job to suffer them (usually from ‘something I did wrong to someone else’), because dissolving their delusion each time, develops the muscle of what is true.   Like now, I see through the delusion into the kingdom of kindness – the unhelpful track is IRRELEVANT!

There is no fantasy in kindness:  just do and be it.

There is a big insight into why therapy can be for long intervals stuck and unproductive.   It is because the client is churning around and along the unhelpful track … the Great Story Fantasy of Done and Done-to.

The infertile Done and Done-to story fades.   It bears no relation to the light of today, to the river, and to kindness.   The Done and Done-to ethic is contagious through the lower mind in a novel, or something someone says … a collective opinion rules the unhappy roost for a time, until I slowly ignore it and climb out from the slurry.

cockerel

cockerel

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What is interesting, is how compelling it is.   It fastens on every operating wheel and lever of my mind and mood.   Of course, it is depression.   Depression is when I am cut off from community, from family … in the unhelpful track of me.   Depressives suffer from seemingly massive insights and motor feebleness.   Depression is the magnified self-script and scolding mother – a child too small and exhausted to tidy the house or cheer up or do anything interesting.   See?

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Neptune in Pisces;  Tarot Keys 12 and 18.  This will be the Ascendent here in London when the Grand Cross is in full focus (23 April 4.15 gmt).   On the Tree of Life, this represents Malkuth, the sphere of action, embodiment, materiality, type of birth.

Neptune in Pisces; Tarot Keys 12 and 18. This will be the Ascendent here in London when the Grand Cross is in full focus (23 April 4.15 gmt). On the Tree of Life, the Ascendent represents Malkuth, the physical sphere of action, embodiment, materiality, type of birth.   Neptune represents the Godhead, cosmic source.   They combine as the divine thread or KAV, through the Tree of Life:  as above, so below.

Neptune in Pisces! –  sounds mystical, but is actually the Hanging Man’s (reversals and turning-points) Self-surrender within the Moon-child’s journey of embodiment. There is the Self, head down in the well, being born and breaking invisible rocks:  a paragon of high and noble spirituality.

And there are my small-dog personal selves, sent to the bottom of the class to begin their journey again, through the Piscean Path’s snakes and ladders.

But the Self in the well – is where it bottoms out.   All is well.

The Piscean path of the Moon in Key 18 evolves from earliest life forms clambering from the sea – or the desert – to humanity and consciousness.  The sign Pisces rules the feet. The record is kept in that tiny part of our brain, the medulla oblongata, just where the spinal cord reaches the head.   It holds our lizard memory.  The distant mountain is Key 9, the Hermit’s illumination.   And what do the digits of 18 add up to?

Arcana 6 Lovers - detail

In the Lovers Key Six, there is the mystery of that same pointed peak between them: they do not touch.

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Tarot Arcana 4 & 5:  the Emperor (Aries) and the Hierophant (Taurus)

Taurus begins, today and tomorrow.   This thought opens my fire and earth landscape between Aries and Taurus, where I have the North node … the liberating Beauty, its fullness with life and humanity.   Be brave.   Be bold.   Be kind.   The Moon today works through Capricorn.

With these images, the Inner Lover is back, quite physically, through the wood and the well.   The discarnate One is closer than my breath:   I receive. I become still, with the subtle Kingdom in my pulse.   Touch and be touched with the root of the well which is kindness;   move onward with this, keep walking, the Hermit is not on a far distant mountain, his staff is in my hand, and so is his lamp with the Seal of Solomon.

Arcanum 9 hermit

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When the foot prints along the sand seem to be one person lonely … it is when he or she, my inner teacher and strength, is carrying me.   Life picks you up.   Don’t fight with life.   The sea breathes in and out.

footprints - Version 2

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So on with the Red Book.

Jung writes:  “The small grains of sand have rolled in fabulous primordial oceans, over them swam primordial monsters with forms never beheld before. Where were you man, in those days? On this warm sand lay your childish primordial animal ancestors, like children snuggling up to their mother.   O mother stone, I love you.   I lie snuggled up against your warm body, your late child. Blessed be you, ancient mother. Yours is my heart and all glory and power. Amen.

“What am I saying …?   — Here the stones form states. … Is it the sun or is it these living stones, or is it the desert that makes my head buzz?”

In the desert there is nothing but prayer, the posture of prayer.

jung's painting in the Red Book of the tree of life (centre), the desert, the serpents and scarab

jung’s painting in the Red Book of the tree of life (centre), the desert, the serpents and scarab

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He returns to the Anchorite, to the Hermit. He tells him, “Why, all the things that you must experience in the desert, you wonderful man!   Even the stones are bound to speak to you …   although the thirsty desert surrounds us, an invisible stream of living water flows here.” Jung

He tells the Hermit that he is a stranger to the teaching – more foreign than one from Britain’s furthest shore – and has much to learn. The Anchorite tells him he “found inexpressible words to greet the break of day: let the heathen prayer to Helios suffice; be astonished at nothing, and in no sense condemn or regret it.   Let us go to work.”

The Anchorite (who is Ammonius Sacca) goes on to tell how he himself was freed from the awful predicament of spinning words – the days when he was a famous university lecturer in Alexandria.

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scarab

scarab

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The Scarab is a classical rebirth symbol. In my own light: the desire is to honour a Mystery effectively, to worship it well in its moving parts.   When I fail in any part of this, I suffer until the imprint fades. I suffer as an artist, getting the painting wrong.

The Greater Mystery of Life does not oblige me to be happy or sad. Those are adjuncts and adjectival only. The Greater Mystery does not mind how long my route turns around it, for it is timeless.   My Grand Easter Cross produces the scarab, and symbols of birth and death and second-birth, and planting flowers in the garden, and the word “COMMITMENT”.

In my desert I discover a greater commitment perhaps, and realise my faith is to my interior, and it doesn’t matter if it cannot or should not be told.   In the same instant of in-turning to source, is the outward flowing NOW, the connective fibre with the human family, as given.   The situation is so simple.

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Daffodils in Douglas Harding

Daffodils in Douglas Harding

Thus, for me, the Grand Cross resets my commitment, the same way as a home-hub modem is reset, by turning it off, then on again; or a piano is re-tuned.   The resetting recurs again and again in life, but is likely to be profound during a major astrological event.   And in the resetting is the soul’s dark night, a little death: paralysis for a while.   A fixed patter dies.  

Dies Irae – from the deep we cry to thee.

Arcanum 6, the lovers - an early version

Arcanum 6, the lovers – an early version

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom. This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

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