The Golden Tripod of Basil Valentine – Reflection

Dragon of Hermes Trismegistus


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

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

playing by the sea

1955 playing by the sea


Alchemical Journal, 26 February 2002

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

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

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


1955, girl with lighthouse

1955, girl with lighthouse


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

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

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

bota key 1 Magician


1955 with Daniel at Breck

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

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

bota key 2 Priestess


bota key 3 Empress


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

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


drawing 30.1.16


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

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

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

9 ramana embryo


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

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

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



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

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

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


BOTA key 20 Judgment detail LVX


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

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

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

1957 Flora, after Botticelli

1957 Flora, after Botticelli


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

1957, theseus slays minotaur

1957, theseus slays minotaur

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


tintagel merlin


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

He summoned silence, then spoke:

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

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


phoenix copy from Master R TRINOSOFIA


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


The Mage Continued …

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

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

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

Hungary is my native land …”


man in flower field


Silence falls

and an earlier fragment from my Poems of Eclipse …

… I was born

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

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


Karmic Themes

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

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

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

Like all that lives,
we are a metaphor.

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

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

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

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

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


Then the Great Mage went on:

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




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

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

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

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


merlin guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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



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

Saint Germain-Merlin


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

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

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

21 Master Key

Master Key


27 February 2002

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

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


Youngsters in the Puszta by Hermann Reisz

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

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


the key 1987

the key 1987





24 Master R, St-Germain 7.7.15

Master R, St-Germain

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

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

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All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2016. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

Sun Manifesto

“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” Marsha Norman

This quote appeared on the wp link column, just as I was posting.


Discovery 1963 - a painting done at school

Discovery 1963 – a painting done at school

Last week, a spontaneous meditation arose in my journal, after posting “A Bed for a Language“.  Then at the weekend, my father rang up about the Voice he heard at night, which told him: “I am You are a particle-ar expression of the universe. There is no separation”.   (See previous post, The Wrestlers).

This is germane to a new wheel – sphere – of time.   I’d like to know who else is feeling this, and seeing through a frameless window:  2013.   For sure, many bloggers are.

old Kabbalah engraving - look through into Beriah

old Kabbalah engraving – look through into Beriah


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(23 January) – Here is last week’s brief, profound  impression:  it came in the early morning before I got up.  It is simple.  Elect to KNOW, that all about and in and around me are atomic particles of prana – the BEING to breathe into – my traumas too, are life giving atoms – seeds of Consciousness.   Rather than weep and wail with their nightmare (=tension), let trauma particles convert into prana particles, which in essence they are.  The tidal breath.   Walk the shining sands within my heart.

This potentially changes everything.  It is the Great Meditation of the Sun;  the grains of sand in Mother Ganga.

It is a crucial transmutation to this day and age.

Why?  Because the imprint of despair, fear and pain DISABLES whole societies.   Whereas the conversion of it to prana-awareness EMPOWERS me and you in all directions, as society.  It is subtle, inward and secret.  We have to keep practicing.

The solar photon moves in every direction of infinity, connecting with itself.  Life on earth is a golden lattice through the waters.  Gold in the rock is congealed sunlight.   The sun on a wet street is a path of gold.  Yet we value more, our trinkets!   What monkeys we are.  Keep practicing.  Keep opening the shutters.

Self empowering is the decision to charge each particle positively, unhampered by regret, rage or revenge.   A radically different Universe/environment opens.   The collective human consciousness is pinned down at the moment by a mass negative persuasion, afflicting us at every level of lower Yetzirah (World of Formation, the psyche).   To some observers, this appears as the Greys, aliens, insomnia and paranoid government conspiracies.

Self empowering is the local decision anywhere, to turn this fantasy – the miasm – RIGHT ROUND, here and now.   Despair, negativity and horror are socially acceptable and condoned – a deep herd instinct, blinkers –  a corral into which to shove the sheep.  Yes, what appears to be a sinister focus clumps together and is self made.  And yes, here and now is the alternative,  to embody, and to make it CONTAGIOUS in any way we can.  But it needs exercise.  Take off the blindfold.  Blow the brave gold dandelion clock.   It explodes into seeds of light:  speech.

The seeds are dainty, fragile, almost invisible.  But they are SUNS.  But they are Suns, and nothing (when they are aware and embodied) can adulterate them.  Nothing can destabilize Reality.

So … to locate the dandelion seeds in and around heart and solar plexus being, sponsoring these rather than the old metalled road of Name and Blame – is the high and inward art.

solar lioness orbits 1988

solar lioness orbits 1988


I am practical about God.   I am a subatomic particle in God’s body, and I wake up.  Even just sometimes for a moment, is a start.  I am a starling in the flock murmuration, and I wake up.   Gravity is the action of co-creativity.   Nothing moves in isolation, except thoughts which are apparently born, strive and die.   Blind thoughts.

What do I identify with?   The dark thought which stresses so invitingly?  Or the seed of Light?

My thoughts and wounds and resistance are local turbulences which like sunspots appear dark against the Light.   They are the Light – intensely so.   My thoughts when I awaken, disrobe – like the man and his coat with the blustering wind which tried to blow it off him, and the sun whose warmth made him take it off.   And I am not alone.

The dark thought is One and the Same –  seed of Light.

To truly recollect the stepped-up Presence of the Companions of the Light … stop to feel  the atoms – pin-points of space and being.   Let my brackish brick panics  crumble into the golden powder of the Light:  self empowerment – hold the lamp and light my way.

Key arcanum 9:  Hermit Yod - Hermetic Tarot 1991

Key arcanum 9: Hermit Yod – Hermetic Tarot 1991

This is the purpose of catastrophes in life – for the Awakening power which converts them.  The Awakening power is a COMMAND STATION.   I command.  It is my sweet revenge on the delusion in all ages which harassed and trampled the feminine earth and our children.


"God - as the ignorant misconceive him" - arcanum 15, hermetic tarot 1991

“God – as the ignorant misconceive him” – arcanum 15, hermetic tarot 1991

Paul Foster Case wrote: “Materialistic science seldom perceives that what it calls ‘laws of nature’ are no more than incomplete reports of what has been observed by persons in nowise liberated from the delusions engendered by superficial interpretation of appearances.  All that any research worker in any field of science can study, is what enters his mind through his impression of sensation.  If he change his outlook, he will enter another world, and will be able to wield powers which go beyond the limits of the mere statistical averages … For modern science, a ‘law of nature’ is actually no more than a statement of what probably may be expected in a given set of circumstances …” 


“… The inverted pentagram on the Devil’s brow is the ignorant belief that will power is of personal origin, so that each human being has a will of his own which he is free to exert, contrary to the laws of God and nature.”

Builders of the Adytum (


Link to The Reckless Fruit (2)

So … we flip that pentacle round.  We poke some fun at the pompous old billy.  We tweak his beard.  We laugh at ourselves.


Anne Davies, Paul Foster Case & Students in the 1940s

Anne Davies, Paul Foster Case & Students in the 1940s


The Will of the Wheel of the Sun, is the power of all the Worlds, of which I am you are a particle.

My father heard this also, independently, a few days later.  And you?


(24 January) – The same particle brushes the Himalayas with a feather each aeon of the Tahagatha –  or appears as Hermes to my untidy kitchen table.  Reality has infinite space, inward as out.

A still small voice from time to time brings me thoughts of a deep transformative simple kind which I long to grasp and make permanent !  It is to do with non-possessive, non-possessed.   They slip away like fish.  The intention feels weak because I cannot pin it down, yet it is vast like GRAVITY (or starlings).  The still small voice leads the way from thickets into the light.   Trust it.   It will keep coming, and it is only my monkey mind which is weak.

Professor Branestawme inside the clock orbits

Professor Branestawme inside the clock orbits, 1988


Lead, lead, lead into and as the Light.

Yes, the notion of prana particle is – translates in life to – self empowerment, authority to be myself, and to select where and how and with whom I want to be – as Hermes Trismegistos said, re deep sea fish and mountain high – (see the quotation below).   It coopts to the  (divine) operation of the Will.

Hermes & Pythoness

Hermes & Pythoness 1987


Hermes sings:

“Become higher than all height, lower than all depths, comprehend in yourself the qualities of all the creatures, of the Fire, the Water, the Dry, and Moist, and conceive likewise that you can at once be everywhere, in the Sea, in the Earth. 

“You shall at once understand yourself, not yet begotten in the womb, young, old, to be dead, the things after death, and all these together, as also times, places, deeds, qualities, quantities – or else you cannot yet comprehend God. 

“But if you shut up your soul in the body, and abuse it, and say ‘I understand nothing, I can co nothing, I am afraid of the Sea, I cannot climb up to Heaven, I know not who I am, I cannot tell what I shall be’ –  What have you to do with God?  For you can understand none of those fair and good things AND be a lover of the evil limitation.  For it is the greatest evil, not to know God.

“But to be able to know, and to will, and to hope, is the straight way, and Divine way, proper to the Good;  and it will everywhere meet you, and everywhere be seen by you, plain and easy, when you don’t expect or look for it;  it will meet you waking, sleeping, sailing, travelling, by night, by day, when you speak, and when you keep silence.  For there is nothing which is not the Image of God.”

Hermes Trismegistos,  
Divine Pymander 10th Book:  The Mind to Hermes, Dr Everard translation

Hermes and the age of Pisces

Hermes and the age of Pisces


It amounts to – not being tangled in the hedge of neurotic fears, but to place my aim (I am) on the particle … like a little skateboard.   Keep practicing.   Little particles, like motes in sunbeam, move around and through my middle.  My vessels.  Decision.   The Window.

abba aima ama:   ahieh asher ahieh

(Father, dark-Mother, light-Mother:  I am That I am, as spoken from the burning bush.  Moses had a speech impediment:  he could not pronounce consonants.  So the Name given him to pronounce, being consonant-free, has no impediment, no separation.

Of the same kind are TAT TWAM ASI – that thou Art /sanskrit, and the Tamil NAM YAR? who am I? /Ramana Maharshi.)


Before Reality (satori) chop wood, draw water – after satori chop wood, draw water:  a Kabbalist friend has a very good version of this story, when he gets back from work this evening, I shall call him, and add it here.   For me, the strange discomfort of being human.  Headache, incipient unwell cold, insomnia & weary …  Time stops and life goes on.   Much to balance out.  Does the old brook complain about flowing over grit and sharp earthy stones?

Hermes Trismegistos Alexandria lineage - ja 2003

Hermes Trismegistos Alexandria lineage – ja 2003.  Note the Thoth bird ibis, standing on the dragon




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.

NB – new post arriving in Aquariel shortly

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

More of the Star and the Seals

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10 August 2012

Rohit asked me this week to put up the Star on the blog, to progress the Tower energies swirling around;  so yesterday I did, and added to it some of the Seal chapter which follows it in my journal.

The Star is perhaps the most benevolent energy in the Tarot.  She is there when the walls of the Tower have blown away with the dust.   She is there, rebuilding and going deep.   She is there, nude and pouring the water of Life from her everlasting Source of nature onto earth and into the pool.   Onto earth a delta of the senses flows:  a tree’s rings of time ripple across the pool.   Lightly her foot rests on the waters.  The waters are the collective subconscious.  She is a yogic asana, and we can be this way, do it for ourselves, and feel what softens, spreads and opens.

The woman of the Star is truth and contemplation.   She heals the Foundation, and ever renews the root and shoot.   When we stand and are quiet, we find ourselves.

Here she is again, with AJJA’s verses below:

The Star

The Hebrew letter PEH belongs with the Tower.  It means “mouth” and “speech”.  The tower speaks:  the voice of God speaks from a burning bush:  I AM.   However, the power of this hieroglyph elides with the fluency of the Star.  Each Tarot Key makes a seamless Tao with its neighbours.

When we stand and are quiet, we find what we are.   We find what THAT is, which troubles us.  It is I.  Is it I?   Simply, I have no form, and yet I am.

The Tower of the Tarot, with its 22 courses of bricks, is a chimney.   The Tower or chimney, let down into the earth like a root, is a well.   How it transforms.

As above, so below.  The Seal of Solomon’s triads, masculine and feminine, likewise ascend and descend through each other in the temple of peace.

She looks down into the well uprising.  The walls are gone, and the earth delivers.   At the heart and source of every troublous thought, is this deliverance.   As Krishnamurti would say:  the sacred.

As Douglas Harding would say:  just look carefully, and go on looking.

We have to make a deal with our conditioned mental tension, to just lay off for a moment, and let

the attention be.


Many years ago, a bi-polar friend commissioned from me a painting of Gerald Manly Hopkins’ poem: Mind thou hast mountains, cliffs of fall.   It was meant to depict the darkness and the terror of the bi-polar abyss.  I was in the middle of my Hermetic discovery.  I drew:  and at once the strata of the mountainous rock fell through into an inner land, sun bathed, of the All Seeing.  Hermes Trismegistos the guide, receives the falling soul, like a midwife.

Here’s the sequence:


Awaken 87



 sketch: Cliffs of Fall 87



Dance 87

The oil painting which followed it, gave me another surprise.  A chance configuration of the paint, as I brushed in the sky, revealed a seal’s head soaring into the Upper Worlds.   I loved this seal.  Its song is the heart and thread of the Tree of Life through all the worlds;  this was before I studied Kabbalah.  It is a soul connection of the deep.  Unfortunately the painting got stolen from my friend when he was ill, and this blurred photograph is my only record of it.


The Seal, Cliffs of Fall

So later on, I reconstructed it for myself, for it has a profound message of hope.  The soul falling through the strata of the subconscious in terror and delight, is the seeker.  The cave of the heart opens.  The little goat on the alp (below) is Capricorn, going about our business.  Hermes to the left presides over the journey, and over the landscape of the Underbeing:  the treasure house of souls.   The composition is a Tree of Life, with Hermes at Hod, and the energy of the quest in Fall at Netzach.   Here is a drawing:


and the small painting to replace the lost one:


Cliffs of Fall Version 2

The horizontal and vertical planes cross each other, as in every instrumentation of life:  the horizon with the sky.  In astrology, the Capricorn Cancer solstice polarity is a coastal path where land and sea meet:  the Song of Humanity;  the elders and the children:  death and birth.   Pluto, the orbit of transformation, is now (until 2024)  in Capricorn, where he was 240 years ago – the time of Beethoven and Napoleonic wars.   Whatever else goes on, profound human values are rediscovered.   So deeply does Pluto touch our inmost chords of song, that the astronomers have decided he is not a planet.

Pluto is about the size of our Moon.  Pluto is more – Pluto transcends his binary rotation with his moon Charon.   Pluto is the hundreds of fragments and asteroids of the Kuiper  Belt – whose gravitational drift forms a vast clock, or dial, around the sun …   240 years:  around five billion square miles of space;  one NOW.  The Kuiper Belt IS Pluto, collectively.  In astrology, the planets are expressed as qualities through their orbital pulses:  a few months for Mercury, 2 terrestrial years for Mars, 12 for Jupiter, and so on.   The solar system is a Rose of petals of time, cyclic yet never repeating history … a little like Tom’s torch of time.


Great Rose


Here are more impressions now, of the seals and the south westerly coast of Wales.   “The Star” is meditation.  The Seals play in the deep.



rock family

From Journal, 4 October 2002:  Rope, Coast and Ship

Hearth-fire: To have one little fire in the wilderness by myself, is only the triad of awakening;  to join my smoke with the Elder ones is to warm with a greater fire, into which the Triad of the Spirit dips.  And in this greater fiery circle in the wilderness, with wise ones seated around it, prayer and small intentions for humanity are taken and they work, they join, they go beyond me.  It’s funny how there is this passion and yet the great difficulty to be present at the greater fire:  the tedium and the wrestling.  Most of the time during the day, my thoughts are not prayerful at all, but nasty, fearful depressions about so and so’s weapons, and the blaring bulldogs here.  Such imaginations only contribute to the newsprint of fear.

But … the Companions give me rope.  They give me space to explore my coastal path, the creative process and the I-mystery through Ramana.  They let me do it thoroughly, and then come back to them with my way of unification.  Does not this body of work belong to them?  Will they not look after it, and see that it goes with the right tide?

The rope is something earned in another lifetime.  There seems to have been so much labour in that other lifetime, to obtain this leisure and protection for the Spirit, that an anxiety – (am I making the most of the opportunity?) – continues to stress me. 

I begin to hear the gentle advisors, who say “rest”.  Do just what is given. Where my home is, is a tempering place, for all its crack crime and bulldogs, and survives history like the water the wave travels through.  The mite belongs to the Greater.  My work and creation is a fibre woven into Their Rope.

It is a seamanlike rope, like the one near Pwllderi, which hangs from a stanchion down the rock and into the bay a mile south of the Dinosaur headland.   I went down it again, not to swim this time, but to enter a deep dark cave under the cliff, and take photographs.  The rope is in my mind’s eye, thick rope with curly strands and fibres – holding it in my hand as I go down to the wet wild stones, and again when I come up. 

In the same part of that coast, and nearer the Dinosaur, is the ‘secret cove’.  It had seals and their babies in it, this time, so I didn’t go right down.  I only climbed down into it, because my mother dropped her bag with the car keys in it, down the cliff.  The slope is sheer, with tough couch grass, and the bag had come lightly to rest in thornbushes a hundred feet down or so.   I took it, and then traversed across to the secret diagonal path I discovered last time, to sit a little nearer the seals and watch them.  

Eleven years ago, I first entered it, climbing along the shaly sea’s edge.  It is where the igneous rock of Strumble meets beds of sandstone strata: a petrified eruption.

The cove has titanic devic cliffs around it, and waters within of indigo, green and russet.  It is an immaculate vortice, or oasis.  I am profoundly nourished by this mystic place.  It has rock formations of giant couples, children and owls.


rock titans

Last week I ascended the diagonal path to the clifftop and looked for the spiral stones where I saw the snake last time, but they had gone, and it is overgrown with gorse. 

In my inner sight, it dips suddenly and beautifully down into the pure sea – the well.  The coastal contour flows around it.  It has every level In it:  a turning point in Truth – a landmark.

This time, the Companions gave me the seals to get close to.  Last time I climbed upon some “organ pipes” which gave me a vision of rocklike infinity:  a certainty of the Good.

How should I name this cove, so vivid in my interior, more so than the Tower, and as alchemical?  It glows with the long shadows of sunset.  In its depth are the violet stones from which they built St David’s Cathedral.  I cannot name it.  Keys from the vehicle were dropped into it and rescued.  On the rocky beach below, seals lay vulnerably and suckled their young, and in the soft dark waves their bulls stood guard.  I see above it the graded spiral of rocky stones, and the fluid snake.


I dip into my interior treasure, along the coastal path trod by sages and Kabbalah.  It is part and parcel of that Great Path.  It is my self-refreshment and discovery of the great Trust fund of Truth.  It is a jewel threaded on the rope.  It never forgets the rope which is the path.  We were given feet and hands to tread sensually such paths.  Krishnamurti said “Truth is a Pathless Land” – which means every path in it is truth.  That was my revelation, glittering that day and in the night, on the organ pipes of igneous rock over the Dinosaur’s flank;  and I have it again.  The sea is in my face. 

The coast is a place of power.   What do they give me now, to see? 


Return to ships’ crew –  my central Mast between the fore and aft of the pillars, and my Scamp in the crows nest – Daat:  the way he bothers me and my crew when we are all tired, with his horizons which we cannot see, and with his sooth saying ideas which we translate into uneasy psychological shadows, and his general chatter, and his inaccessibleness when it comes to trying to share his wisdoms through personal vulnerability. 

Come down!  Let’s see you!  Leave your nest and shimmy down the mast with its sheets, ropes and stanchions, swing down the ladders, drop onto the roof amidships, and onto the deck of gleaming timbers.  They seem golden, but are actually weathered grey and scrubbed by sea and salt.  Lend a hand!  Take a brush and some pitch, let’s see how you work with us.


rock flow

The glory of the image …. crows nest, night-dark ravens and the black choughs with red beaks and legs, the glory of their command of the airs, ravens’ wing.  The raven phase of alchemy, and also the silvery and druidic grey of my Kingdom of Daat:  the music sings wherever I look.  But that is Daat download chattering – Pluto in the Tree;  and seals sing like owls.  Come down, scallywag sailor with your see-it-all, and lend your hand to the wood. 

Emotion is the deep living current of the green-violet sea.  Feelings are the surface break of waves which are then subsumed.  There is something very quiet and still and restful in the open breast of emotion, Kabbalistically.  It is unendingly here in this moment, intensely Daat, focused and free of drama. 


My meetings with seals were analogous to the meetings and overlappings of the Four Worlds, and of inner and outer planes.  We poke our heads through membranes of the waters and look upon each other.  We receive each other, unheaded.

The sense is of a circle turned.  This last eleven years is a place of meeting.  Last time I couldn’t see the seals, this time I could.  It needs time and some hindsight, and the flow of the river away, to see what I am now seeing.

October 2002




Old Men of the Sea









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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

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