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/

Inner Journey, finding Botticelli

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Mercury, after Botticelli, 2009

Mercury, after Botticelli, 2009

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This journal entry has been “pending” as a post, for half a year!  It is as relevant now to my discoveries, as then.  It inspired me later, to blog some of my Watershed Tales – including The Lens.

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Link to Aquariel: When Reflecting on the Lovers

21 October 2012 – now we are in Scorpios …  I recollected this morning, that my daily Invocation combines Dion Fortune’s “master contact” gesture, with Halevi’s Tree:  “Let us gather together, draw together.

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Hand Mudras or Gestures on the Tor  - the Shepherd, those who sailed west to east, and theBuilders,

Three Hand Mudras or Gestures on Glastonbury Tor/Avalon – the Shepherd, Those who Sailed West to East, and theBuilders.

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Saluting the Tree, I stretched, and when you stretch you hold up all your weight with ease.  And stretching is the capacity of the inner and the occult life, because stretching grows.  I am moved too.  Everything in nature stretches – plant growth and penile arousal.  To stretch upholds itself, and widens, and the key to “stretch” is desire.

Feeling physically heavy is perhaps due to the lightening of the body weight during moments of inspiration and lift-off.  One of Dion Fortune’s teachers lost two-thirds of his body weight while meditating – she could pick him up with ease.

The resumption of materiality is felt more, after an illumined inner journey or creative process.  That must be why some trance mediums – particularly those in the dark circle – get burly and coarse.  They pile on weight to offset the astral networking.

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Tree of Life in Queen Scale colours.  These are the Beriatic colours for the Sefiroth - their vibration in the World of Creation

Tree of Life in Queen Scale colours (Sketch). These are the Beriatic colours for the Sefiroth – their vibration in the World of Creation:  Kether white, Hokhmah grey/silver, Binah black or indigo, Hesed blue, Gevurah red, Tifareth yellow/gold, Netzach green, Yesod violet, and Malkuth  combines citrine, olive, russet, slate.

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Dion Fortune “in-vented” the Fountain Breath.  It was designed to assist the early twentieth century problem of purity – how to pass up through the sexual-energy reservoir without flooding the engine, and do good work with it.  Her generation’s natural sex drive was expressed in society, in stifled, cramped and addictive ways.  Due in part, to the work of this great teacher and others on the astral plane between the Wars, there is a small amount of liberation in our sexual mores.  We are able to be more honest with each other in our relationships:  gender timelines are not rigid:  parents share the active care of their young.  Of course, media attitudes and the Karmic heritage of centuries of subconscious abuse have not kept pace with this.

We have to look within our situation and take a great interest in it, to see what is true, and to manifest our Life force in an evolutionary way.

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Fountain tree of Life

Fountain tree of Life –  Queen Scale colours, but the Sefiroth are turned around.  Normally we view the Tree facing the same direction with Adam Qadmon’s back to us, with the same left and right sides as ours.  Here the aspirant and the Tree are turned to face each other objectively.   They embrace.  As if in a mirror, the Tree’s Yang right pillar – Hokhmah Hesed Netzach –  is reflected in the aspirant’s Yin left side – Binah Gevurah Hod.   Some Kabbalists and occultists do practical work in this manner.

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About ten years ago, I learned a fountain breath method, up through the “Tower of Alchemy”, the tree and the body of light.  So the tower is in my inner eye, right now,  by ventilation – it “vents” the Kundalini shakti, in a way which blesses the surrounding landscape with Her Light.  The tower is phallic, pumping up the dragon seed.

The Tree of Life/Tower of Alchemy as a flowering Staff, showing the Malkuth cavern with almond flower, Yesod with almond nut, Tifareth as the Rose Cross and Daat as pineal sight - the pine cone at the other end of the Yesod staff.

The Tree of Life/Tower of Alchemy as a flowering Staff (2002), showing the Malkuth cavern with almond flower, Yesod with almond nut, Tifareth as the Rose Cross and Daat as pineal sight – the pine cone at the other end of a Yesod “almond” staff.  Yesod is the personal consciousness;  Daat the transpersonal link, or Union.   Through the interlocked Four World-trees on Jacobs Ladder, Yesod and Daat overlap.   See other posts on Jacobs Ladder and Kabbalah.  NB – This painting and the inner journey with it, was inspired by David Goddard’s book THE TOWER OF ALCHEMY.

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In the root cavern underground – Malkuth – is an almond flower.   Beneath the almond flower carved in rock, is a rough ashlar cube:  the altar of our life.  Through it pulses a fiery fountain, dark and light –  a circuit of perpetual cycles:  J H V H.   In the curved rock walls, are doors – entrances:   the Tarot Keys for the Judgement, the World and the Moon converge here.   There is also a portal to the planetary Kundalini where we are not supposed to go.  It seems to descend a stair, as in my dream of The Witch. (House of Hundreds of Rooms).  I went a little way down that stair, and heard the builders’ tools deep down within the basement or outside the House of all Souls.

GALLERY 1

These three Tarot Keys represent the three paths of the Tree which converge to Malkuth, the Earth.

The paths from Malkuth - SHIN, TAV, QOF

The paths from Malkuth – SHIN, TAV, QOF.  In Malkuth are shown the four elements.

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At the door by which I entered – down the spine, ida pingala spiral stair – is an earthen jar in which is distilled and grows the Wine of Life.   The Wine of Merit is life.  It is also a signature of vitality.  So attention to it may help mine.

With regard to journeying – my third eye focuses, like a little button put here.   Third eye and the fountain breath are what is needed to travel accurately, and go places.

So I’m walking along the centre opening passage, it is of rock, a round curved tunnel, but illumined.  My plan from Malkuth is to visit Yesod, where the tunnel opens to a circular  “room”.   On the Beriatic Queen Scale, Yesod is coloured violet, a wonderful crystal living flower.   But first I am in the central tap root rising to Yesod;  it is the World dancer’s path coloured indigo :  TAV the Sign, GVPh the body as our living temple – and Gravity:  a rich indigo upwelling darkness.

Key 21, ruling this path, is called “the Administrative Intelligence“.   It contains and regulates the subliminal knowledge of our cellular and Karmic organization, and of the  Tree of Life as a whole.   Kether is planted deep in the ground!

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GALLERY 2

Note a triad pattern –  three figures in the cards to each side of The World.  They form the letters L.V.X. – Light.

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Perhaps when I overheat and the dark is red like brick, it may help to inwardly transform it to blue-violet indigo, to cool down and soften.   At once I feel the breeze, like the sea.

Do I meet anyone along here?   Some peoples’ meditations teem with inner plane beings and elementals, which I don’t “see”.   Perhaps I feel their companionship in the space.   I imagine the hoards of workers in the Ministry of Magic entrance hall under the streets, as in the Harry Potter books.

There is a press of workers and of city dwellers in the Passage of Administration, to and fro.   I don’t see them, because that is not the trick or birth/Ascendant type of my mind.   But I perceive that this path is a vast station of departures and arrivals – rather like Lime Street where I sat with the Yellow Man.   He was a classic appearance of the inner Teacher or guardian angel.  In that brief encounter in my dream, he nourished and informed my entire life … thank you !   “Ireland was his home.”   His impact would lead to leprechauns and Dancers of Pan in my language … see how I am led around to the World Dancer again – for she is truly a dancer of Pan.   The trail again is warmed, even heated, as kundalini rises through my ebbed physical strength.  Turn Her from redbrown to deep velvet indigo cool.  Contain her in the Night of cold waters, silver Isis reflecting stars.

The heat passed, as I realise I have a trained and focused mind in fact;  for I do not wander off into irrelevant spooks and glamours.   The abstract living essences are what I love and dwell among.  Always they return me to the visual Rhyme:  the  play of the Archetypes.  Watch and feel; relax;  be greeted.   Greetings, my Holy ones.   They dance slowly round the Muse like Botticelli’s angels.   Primavera.   I stop here this morning, with Her.

Botticelli's Primavera - Detail

Botticelli’s Primavera – Detail

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botticelli self portrait, detail

She, so much gazed upon by millions of art lovers down the centuries since he painted her, is fully fledged, a living Goddess:  the Archetypal Mother of All.   Botticelli.

Who am I? his apprentice or himself?   Now I see the ironic expression of his self portrait in one of his works.   It does not matter.

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I take his hand and we walk into Yesod, the Foundation of the Tree.

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spring violet - photo credit http://www.ofwoodsandwords.com

spring violet – photo credit http://www.ofwoodsandwords.com

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The violet crystal flowers, all around.   We are inside a little spring violet, and in it there is a stone font with a fountain almond mist:  a shining in the air.   Now Yesod is where I meet my mental-plane Lover, and here I am with Botticelli.  Here we are by the dark maternal enigma of giant Isis.  So do what is natural.   Get into the font, and twine my arms and legs around him Yab Yum and start to breathe together the Y H V H around.   We fuse the painterly craft, the renaissance genius, the beauty and purity of the Line.   Be still and know I am God.   Botticelli got scooped by Savonarola, but I won’t.   Ever.

Sandro Botticelli, I am free from persecution, so now I am your Primavera and your Aphrodite.   You are ebony lingum in my curvy clouds.   A small fiery triangle glows with orange light and flame.   We are an Indigo oval stone with scarlet triangle :  Akasha tejas, the inner Key to Gold:  refinement of the Saturn and Mars centres, and their blend.   Isn’t it remarkable how we changed roles,  the gender free exchange, when conducted in Beriah.

Akasha Tejas tattva

Akasha Tejas tattva

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The essence of the akasha tejas nuptial is the pure white brilliance.

Be still, be still and know I am God.   Kether is the deep of things.   Kether is everywhere and all pervading, even the enormous floating masses of forgetting.   I don’t “see” my lover:  I find the sparkling point, the inward lead.

It is a subconscious induction or programming.  The inward spark is fresh as a field of hay.   It finds and pleasures every crevice.   Delta of Venus!    Now I am this bud. The green-red drawing is part of a series I drew in 1988, just before I began to study Kabbalah – the story of a Fool and the Lamb he liberated.  The Tree spirit in the cell has “black” tributaries like roots or branches and little space pads between them, like foetal fingers.  Encircling it concentrically under the epidermis are the notes – F,D,C,A,F – of the Fool’s Chord which he played on his flute.   In it is a diamond, the drop of dew on the Rose.

Tree spirit

Tree spirit

It is the bliss before bothering about sexual arousal.   Before sexual arousal – for I  picture the ebony linga teasing and fondling the dew – there is a moment 99.9% ignored, of peace and plenty, stillness and the unknown.   Perhaps this is what Ida Craddock was teaching.   The ruach is unhurried, deep, gentle and cool.

I suffer from insomina, even when my mind is quiet.  To go to sleep at night means:  to the right department.   Sleep in the body is given when I am free to lay her aside and travel to the right place in the subtle Kingdom of the world.

Somewhere along the line, this facility got tangled up.   It works fine when I am writing in the morning, but not when I need to sleep at night.   Sleep isn’t only for rest.  Sleep for someone like me, is a medium within which to do good work.   Not “good works”! – good interior work.  In ancient Egypt, the deep sleep of initiates releases their Ba or Ka or Light-body.

Impression that when I am properly asleep and not hooked up to anything, my “Egyptian” consciousness awakes and can travel to wherever some assistance is needed – perhaps to cross the river.   I have rather a clear picture now of the Egyptian, and how she works with Thoth and Horus.  It is a feeling, rather than a picture.  The Egyptian or Atlantean consciousness resides in Beriah.   She pervades everything and all the centuries on Earth creatively, a perfume.

Black hair, brown skin, white something.   I am sure she is the sunburnt black haired Older Sister princess who comes to sit among the flowers and skipping children in my Cornish garden, age six.  Her long head and buck teeth.   My new teeth of course, were growing.

Queens with jewels in a garden - 1956

Queens with jewels in a garden – 1956

Children and elder sister in Cornish alps, 1956

Children and elder sister in Cornish alps, 1956

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An unconditional happiness plays near the Cornish Pyramids of white china clay in the 1950s.

In those Egypt days, our gardens were written in formal hieroglyphs, for the student to en-picture and cultivate and make his or her own.  Jonquils, jewels, wildflowers:  the letters for speech and learning to read.

I have a taste of that wonderful elder society now, its salt sand perfume, and its cool clear vision, long before it got muddied by the priests of power.

In subsequent lifetimes, I became one of these muddy priests also:  for everything we en-picture with the trained psyche, we some day embody.  It is Nature’s requirement to be fully expressed.

Practicing a Mantra - 1987

Practicing a Mantra – 1987

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The trained psyche comes into flower and operation only at a certain level of the focus.   That is her field of protection.  She is sealed from the clutter and persuasions that float around and bombard the everyday life.   I have an agreement with her:  the faculty only works when consciously in the World of Beriah with her.

I seem to have slept enough last night, to liberate this depth.

Copy - Botticelli Madonna & two brats - circa 2007

Copy – Botticelli Madonna & two brats – circa 2007

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GALLERY 3

Here is a sketch of Elisabeth Tomalin – I just thought of her….  and of her grandson Tom Hetherwick.  I found and cut out that photo of him in the paper.  I was struck by an essence of his Granny – her lineage – I see her eyes through his, and smile.   She was by nature a guardian and Guide of Souls.  She was the only person in the world who knew and kept the secret of the Olympic Cauldron – Tom’s Torch of Time.  He shared it with her, while she waited in her bed to die, last spring.  She was 99.   It was an intense frustration to her when she couldn’t dream, and remained locked in life’s tiny, distressed and despised body.  I am sure she is now at large, bigtime.   While tidying up my emails I found the eulogies they read at her funeral.  All of them agree with love, what a hard trial their Grandmother was.

Meanwhile the diamond grew bright, like rose quartz.  It is linked to the Rose in the dark, in the inner rose cross sanctuary.

Savitri 1990

Savitri 1990

Links join parallel universi through wormholes, just as they do online, and even within one blog .  The link is the mode of the interior Consciousness.  This is what is meant by Hebrew letter VAV, the nail or hook.  It pins time to timeless, thought to transfiguration, his to herstory, things and different periods together.  Spheres roam, enter each other and form vesicas in which life is born and broods and dreams.

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I picture the inter-dependent souls and fishes, in my walk in the dark.

So !

Resume our place in the font of Isis, Botticelli and I, and greet farewell.  Go well, till we meet again. Be loved.

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GALLERY 4

I wonder, his wonderful line, did he draw it just like that, or did it refine through painter's trial and error and rubbing out, like mine?   In not one of these sketches did I dare to place the Primavera's right eye where he did.  It makes all the difference and depth to her expression.

I wonder, his wonderful line, did he draw it just like that, or did it refine through painter’s trial and error and rubbing out, like mine? In not one of these sketches did I dare to place the Primavera’s right eye where he did. It makes all the difference and depth to her expression.

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Keeping the whole pattern clear for next time, withdraw back to Malkuth, the almond flower in the cave’s ceiling and … how did I enter that?  Ah – it was the talk of Dion Fortune and the Fountain breath, and how it irrigates the surrounding countryside.

The dragon rises and falls peacefully, after all my practice back in 2002.  The dragon has a core of fiery whiteness, little puffs of the Brilliance.   The universe is composed of Brilliance;  why else do the stars shine?

I can visit where I like in the Tower, in a trice.   Strange how seldom I come here!

This morning/during the night, I started to form a talisman:  Calm, Confidence, Competence.  Say those words as often as I can.   A picture came with them – a big dew drop, with a tiny one the other way round, inside.  It is like the Soul Tetrahedrons.   But now I understand what it really means – it is the akasha in the tejas, scarletindigo, the Aries in Capricorn.   A little oval Stone of the Wise, in various expressions of density, is realised.

So keep a hold of it at base.  When cradling a lover’s fine warm shape, remember this.   For all things, to store my energy and help me to sleep at night, say Confidence, Calm, Competence and see the dew inside the dew.   It is a Mantrayantra.  She’ll get the message soon.

Ourobouros flower - Roob Alchemy&Mysticism

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My heart centre is a clover.  She sparkles vividly white, scarlet and black.   These are the gunas.  They are also Rosebud’s Queen mother, who pricked her finger in the winter snow near the ebony wood, and wished for a beautiful child.

GALLERY 5

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I lost my curiosity in other peoples’ versions, because my own, steaming along in the subconscious, provides ALL.  When I open the trapdoor/manhole cover, and look …  there it is, flowing  from  springs of ageless Wisdom … thanks to the  training ground and challenges of this present life time:  thanks to the teachers and terrain of other life times back o’beyond, and to those to come.   ADONAI.

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GALLERY 6

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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/