Sacred India Tarot Archive – 7 and 8 of Arrows: Bheeshma’s Dharma

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Zain

Zain

Seven of Arrows – Rohit’s Notes

We need a picture of Bheeshma sitting on his seat of authority, while in the far corner three Kaurava plotters, out of his line of vision, are cooking up mischief against the Pandavas.  This was a generic behaviour pattern;  it does not even need to be specified which particular plot it was.  If we could show them attempting to guiltily shield themselves further from the old man’s gaze by holding up a screen of seven arrows, then we have captured the element of deceit and underhandedness that characterizes the card.”

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Sacred India Tarot - Seven of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – Seven of Arrows

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Rohit’s Notes on Conspiracy – from the Book with the Deck: 
“Bheeshma enters a period where the rancour and envy of Duryodhana manifests in constant conspiracies against the Pandavas.  Out of deference, they intrigue furiously behind the Grandsire’s back, concealing their murderous intentions nevertheless poorly … … Nepotism as a cultural value triumphs over almost any other ethical imperative for a certain type of Indian, and is the Shadow of its famous familial strength.

“In one of his better moments of honest self appraisal, Duryodhana laments to Bheeshma, ‘Knowing the good I ignore it.  Recognising the bad, I nevertheless follow it.  My inherent nature is such.’

“The energy of this card is erratic, causing even sensible people to act strangely.  Matters complex and contradictory.  Restlessness, agitation, should be paid attention to.  The uncovering of plots and conspiracies, especially in office politics.   Act with stealth, cunning and strength to protect oneself, and keep cards close to the chest … Strategy forestalls the need for combat.”

Sacred India Tarot ace of arrows, detail

Sacred India Tarot ace of arrows, detail

Jane’s Notes
The failure of trust awakens war.  When I painted this card, I was struck by Rohit’s analogy that the conspirators should hold up a screen of seven arrows entangled.  It is like this lattice of red arrows which block the Ganga in the Ace.

The King however – meaning the Self – reflects uneasily, and in depth, the knotted shadows in his soul and lineage.  The burden of this King is his preparation for the future.  He carries the dharma of society.  The great civil war of the Mahabaratha broke out, and had to run its course.  The depth of human hell is like a root.  It seems to pull as by gravity, Krishna from the sky:  the Vishnu avatar represents the Dharma or cosmic law, enters the action and in due course prevails.   When we are in the dark, it is virtually impossible to see its opposite.

Reflect also on inevitable individual episodes of doubt, depression and fragmentation:  the locked-up paranoia, and what happens when it dispels: cautiously I behold the landscape around and illumining the small murk of my belief.
It is different from what I believed.

Rohit continues:  “The 7 of Arrows’ shadow is the thief – the theft of ideas, time, energy;  the conniving, manipulative politician.  A stealthy dangerous aura pervades the card, like a venomous serpent crossed with a fox … Inept and inefficient thieves, who cannot hold onto their plunder. … … Lock up your creative output well.  Where do you need to be a bit political?  What do you have that arouses envy?”

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Correspondence 13 September 2004 – Arrows 7 Feedback
“Dear Jane, Given below is Rohit’s feedback for Arrows 7.  We will put together the material on the Cups and let you have it as soon as possible.  We had sent an airmail with a Comic book and some references for the Arrows.  Please let me know if we need to resend. Warm regards, Gautam.”

“I like the look and feel of the card immensely. The creepy, deceitful aspect of the energy is conveyed well.  This card is one of the danger flags in the Tarot, and the sly deception practiced on those who are too noble to realise people can be very nasty indeed, is well brought out.  Psychologically, Jane has hit an extraordinary vein of authenticity in this suit.  A few minor points.  Bheeshma’s armour should always be silver. The blue wavy tinge is very appropriate for the Air element of the suit, but so is silver, and that is what he actually wore.  Next, his beard is fluctuating in dimensions.  In others, it seems fuller.  Otherwise the card is fine.”
“Rohit.”

Jane’s Notes:
While painting the Arrows suit, I got rather bogged down, and requested the material for the Cups/Lotuses, to lift things along a bit.  So I painted the Lotuses (tales of Siva and Parvati) alongside the remaining Arrows cards.  The next Arrows card, the 8, shows that increment of Shakti or feminine energy.

This Archive follows a slightly different order than the one in the book (Disks, Lotuses, Staves, Arrows).  It is determined by strong symbols arising towards the end of a suit, which indicated the next one, spontaneously.  Thus we have:  Disks, Lotuses and Arrows, Staves.

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Eight of Arrows – Bheeshma Offers his Life to Krishna

Sacred India Tarot 8 of Arrows, visual reference

Sacred India Tarot 8 of Arrows, visual reference

Krishna’s descent into the fray, with his Galactic Discus wheel, is a tremendous archetype. We see Bheeshma – representing the ego – voluntarily disable himself.  There are situations we are powerless to change.  Only the Upper Worlds have that dimension.

Rohit’s Notes for the card: 
“Bheeshma is attacked by Krishna and refuses to fight him.  The visual reference provided is terrible art (see above), but it does indeed convey what we are trying to communicate.  It should be a scene of carnage with a furiously energetic Krishna and an ecstatic Bheeshma, delighted he will get moksha (liberation) by being killed by the Lord. 

“The gorgeousness of the Thai costumes could be well brought out in this card:  Krishna could be a blaze of saffron yellow, and Bheeshma in blinding white.  Krishna should be extremely muscular, and if there is space he should be shown with Saiva markings on his forehead, as he used to pray to Siva before every day’s battle on the field of Kurukshetra.”

And from the book with the deck: 
“War has come to Hastinapur.  Bheeshma’s long life of sacrifice and peacemaking lies in ruins … His dreams shattered, he nevertheless fights for duty, loyalty, and because he is still Devavratha, son of an immortal, still invincible at this advanced age, hoping against hope to shame the foes into peace.  It is futile.  The Kings of India have leagued themselves into a Pandava camp, and they rend and devastate in a ghastly Gotterdammering.  An age, a civilization, is annihilating itself, and Bheeshma by a supreme irony leads the carnage.  The god Krishna has planned for this horrific outcome.  He wishes to dissolve a rapidly corrupting aristocracy, signally failing its nation, and replace it with a more benevolent, humanitarian Pandava rule … Krishna takes matters in his own hands, threatening to kill Bheeshma with a chariot wheel.

“… Death at Krishna’s hands is instant liberation for the soul – Bheeshma is tired of life and cannot believe his luck at being offered such a spectacular exit … His death is his grandchild Arjuna’s portion of fate.”

(Memo to Rohit – but Rohit, I thought Bheeshma didn’t have any children?)

“In a reading of this card, all 8’s are end-of-Karma cards.  The inspiration of intelligence to overcome crisis, but blood will be drawn.   Not much space to manoeuvre, but adequate.  Hold onto one thing, one thought, and it will show the way out.  Financially, a down phase, even a bad luck cycle.  Self imposed limitations can be discarded, veils pierced, so spiritually a high card;  when the going gets tough, the tough manage to escape.  Ask for help and heed the advice given.  This too shall pass.

“Are you in a co-dependent relationship?  Are you feeling sorry for yourself?  How is psychological paralysis rewarding you?” 

Sacred India Tarot, 8 of Arrows - Bheeshma offers his Life to Krishna

Sacred India Tarot, 8 of Arrows – Bheeshma offers his Life to Krishna

A chariot wheel consumed by fire in the background, represents the battle and the demolition of the old.  Bheeshma was, all his long life, an end-of-Karma 8-of-Arrows character. He put himself beyond the breeding-line, but he bore the epic Consciousness.   His full destiny awakes, together with his physical fear, as he welcomes eye to eye, the god who slays him.  The sword – representing lineage – topples from his hand.  The Wheel of divine Dharma replaces the wheel of human carnage.

Correspondence from Rohit and Gautam
Dear Jane, in addition to our earlier mail regarding adding the palm tree on the shield, Rohit asked me to mention that he just remembered the palm tree is to be depicted along with 5 stars.  Regards, Gautam.”

I didn’t rectify this, so the shield remains with three stars.  Originally it was blank.

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Krishna and Arjuna

Krishna and Arjuna

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I now attach these thoughts by Jung, because Rohit in India was a student of his work long before I became so.  One of the things which most impressed me when we began the project, was Rohit’s deep comprehension of the Jungian Archetypes, and their equivalent in Indian mythology.  I recognised them in his east-west Tarot translation.

When I was aspiring to my highest worldly power, the spirit of the depths sent me nameless thoughts and visions, that wiped out the heroic aspiration in me as our time understands it.

C.G.Jung, The Red Book

Jung photo2

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Ice when a Companion treads the pond,
seeking the sunken Sword,
cracks, splinters and sighs.

ice-swords

ice-swords

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“Incapacity prevents further ascent. Greater height requires greater virtue.  We do not possess it.  We must first create it by learning to live with our incapacity.  We must give it life.  For how else shall it develop into ability?  We cannot slay our incapacity and rise above it.  But … incapacity will overcome us and demand its share of life.  Our ability will desert us …  Yet it is no loss but a gain, not for outer trappings however, but for inner capability.  The one who learns to live with his incapacity has learned a great deal.”

Ibid

(Yes, indeed!   Thus the shatterings, and being human).

Jung/Philemon said of the spirit of the times, during the first War:  “If all heroism is erased, we fall back into the misery of humanity and into even worse.  Our foundations will be caught up in excitement since our highest tension, which concerns what lies outside us, will stir them up. (see media and cellphone technology).  We will fall into the cesspool of our underworld, among the rubble of all the centuries in us.”   (See the present crises.)  … “the black serpents and the reddish sun of the depths” (the rise of Nazism then to come).  In the Red Book, this is followed by a remarkable transcending dialogue:  the paradox of God – the significance of the Whole, above small concepts of the perfect.

No one has my God, but my God has everyone, including myself … So it is always only the one God, despite his multiplicity.  You arrive at him in yourself, and only through your Self seizing you.  It seizes you in the advancement of your life.”

There is something deeply detached in prophesying the seemingly everlasting human hells, as a natural human syntax.   For the hells are actually ephemeral.  They are engraved in our habitual speech and expectation.  At any moment can be chosen the eternal non-existence of the hells.  Create Reality.   It is paradoxical, for the healer sits with the wounded.   Companions of the soul.

The Heroic is the power to discriminate:  to use the Sword correctly and with precision.

“Consequently you sin against incapacity.  But incapacity exists.  No one should deny it, find fault with it, or shout it down.”

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Tai Ch'i movement

I am not a Tai Ch’i practitioner, but I intuit something of the Sword Form in this art:  and the fluid dantien in the belly around which it flows.

That point is gravity. It is surely no coincidence that Rohit initially requested a more far-Eastern flavour in the suit of Arrows/Swords.  I did not really fulfill this at the time.

The Swords, as I described earlier in this series, are the play of Light:  swords of sunlight through the dark woods, or in and out of clouds:  on the ground we play with sticks and stones.  The Sword form as a martial art, flows as the Air.

grail trees

grail trees

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Last weekend, came some understanding, and I wrote:
“Move with the movement, keeping still, move with the Tao in its flow of balancing, re-equilibrating.  What seems dark to you is the water moving, and nature’s exquisite tendency to flow in and out of stress-points.   Sitting on the nub of what seems to be depression and insecurity, is a place from which to view the ebb and flow of life;  without judgement, including the mood, without the mood:  Tao is uncertainty.  Don’t make it an enemy.”

Cup and sword

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The still, small voice
connects.

If you look HERE
you find.

If you play with your sword
you won’t ;  but I’m HERE
our bridge.

You may not hear
what touches you

but HERE, my songs
in your tree, are lovebirds.

from Poems of Eclipse, 1999

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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/

A Cell of Stone and Light and Wood

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oak near elstree

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I hear a certain Master say:  there is always balance, the being of the light and shadow, the hard and the soft;  and to receive and dance the Changes with courtesy.

His name is Master Han Shan. He is a Real Person (embodied, should I say) in history.   He was a medieval Chinese poet;  he wrote his poems on stone and on trees in the Tien-T’ai mountains, and had a wife whom he adored.   Descending among us, he recognises her among the characters in a story of London today; she is a loving student of his own disciple Dzukh.  You can find Master Han’s revelations in this magical book just published by Barbara Brown.  I shall review the book here, very soon.

Han

It is sweet: and the nectar comes.   London’s shadows are passing clouds upon the city’s depth of human beauty and uncertainty, and the way we meet … linking the eccentric streets of Kentish Town to Hackney Marshes:  linking a marriage questing centre, to feral youths with knives, who are taught the martial art of the Sword.

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china natnl flwr

Master Han’s element is the Air.  He is a come-together sweetness of plum-blossom in the air.   Let us gather together, draw together.   Deep rest.

Free this morning, to tune into Master Han and Master Jung for my solace and guidance: I find myself and the sound of seagulls being the salty sea itself in London, and I bask.

Every time this element touches me, the quiet sages emerge from their corners and rejoice.   A corner of Life is packed with possibility.  I am myself, aflow.  A beloved sage in each corner of the room ! … is summoned not by pentacle but by subtle Recognition, as we receive each other through Life, and coalesce.   Talitha cumi:  rise.  Not only do They counsel me:  They meet and embrace each other through my soul, and rejoice.   You are Their place of meeting. Wonderful is the moment, the instant for ever:   the coloured cloak.

My Tarot Key today is 11:  Justice.  Equilibrium, the raised Sword.   Here is a temple of wisdom, a vaulted Cube of space.   I can go into it when I like.  LAMED is its Hebrew letter – the uncoiled serpent, the ox goad, the Law which drove the most powerful beast of the ancient world;  who ploughed the field and harnessed the Light:  Sani’s oxen in the Indian Jyotish.

Saturn’s T or TAV is drawn upon the breast of the Queen of Equilibrium, above the Karmic scales.   The sword held upright in Her right hand, initiates:   Saturn in Libra, sign of Venus,  is exalted.

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My cloud obscured the bright chamber; then it passes. I can visualise and enter now, the interior, and the way we move together in the Cube of space, and the colours, and my friends.  It liberates; the sweet, severe music may sound.

Cube of Space, with compass and Tarot Keys

Cube of Space, with compass and Tarot Keys

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The Rosicrucean Vault is an inner cube, whose golden proportion, wall to vault, is 5:3, adding to 8 the figure of infinity.  In this old illustration,  the wheels tell us it is portable ... within us everywhere, it goes

The Great Work of Alchemy in the world.  The Rosicrucean Vault is an inner cube, whose golden proportion, walls to vault, measures 3:5 or 5:8 – the figure of infinity. In this old illustration, the wheels convey that it is portable … within us everywhere, it goes !

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 The Red Book Today, with Jung.
“The western tendency … turns everything into methods and intentions. Letting things happen, the action through non action, the letting go of myself … opens the door to the way.”

C.G.Jung

Yet there are outlines and forms to dance, as emerging just now:  Key 11 Justice, is Sword Form in the martial art.   I was shown yesterday, to let its tip point not AT but upward and IN … with the antakharana, the waterfall, the shared polar-axis thread, the KAV of the Tree.

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“Just as in Christianity the vow of worldly poverty turned the mind away from the riches of this earth, so spiritual poverty seeks to renounce the false riches of the spirit in order to withdraw not only from the sorry remnants – which today call themselves the protestant Churches – of a great past, but also from all the allurements of exotic aromas, in order finally, to turn back to itself, where in the cold light of consciousness, the blank barrenness of the world reaches to the very stars.”

C.G.Jung

I love this.    A cell of stone and light, with the sound of the sea.   Without cleverness.

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Now The Red Book’s CHAPTER FIVE – the Descent into Hell

red book images ch.5

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“Should I fall?  Wither?  It is a dreadful deep ...”     (That is like the Wind through the Tree which blew a certain stubborn fruit too hard.  When the fruit is blown too hard and finally breaks loose, it whines as it is whirled through the air, and complains when it hits the ground … and loses the plot.  Stubborn resistance of mind developed the tough stem. )

The illumined cap for this chapter, is an H for Hell, but it is curved like a Saturn glyph.  It is painted gold, against a hot fiery spill of light into the darkness.

In the small painting below this, he in white robe enters the Shadow kingdom of chaos, with its gibbering voices and coils of darkness and serpentine eyes.

red book images ch.5 descent

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The dark is itself a serpent coiling and uncoiling around him. Jung’s next small painting is of a dead grey deep, but a black scarab with golden eyes floats across it from an eery red sun on the right, to a cave-opening (to the light) leftward – but that space is the bleeding human form.

red book images ch.5 scarab

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“One must give one’s heart to man, but one’s intellect to the spirit of humanity, God.  Then His work can be beyond vanity, since there is no more hypocritical whore than the intellect when it replaces the heart.”

In the text, he crawls through a narrow crack (birth) and wades through muddy black water towards a luminous red stone – the eery sun.  He holds the stone – a hexagonal crystal, which covers a hole.  He tries to ignore the gibbering voices, something wants to be uttered, he puts his ear to the opening. The bloody head of a man floats by on the dark stream, and then the black scarab.  These are the scorn and intellectual arrogance which blight and darken the world and make – with the Great War of 1914-1945 – all things inconsequential and banal;  like a failed sunlight.

For the head of man is in the Hebrew letter RESH, the true Countenance of Tarot key 19 – the Children of the Sun.  The black scarab beetle is a hidden gold.

Hermetic Arcanum 19 - Children of the Sun

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Something wants to be uttered, by the hole.   Jung waits.  He shudders for a long time as the hero and the black scarab float by: the Egyptian Sun in dark mourning.

In 1925, he said, “… The light in the cave from the crystal was I thought, like the stone of wisdom.  The secret murder of the hero I could not understand at all.  The beetle of course I knew to be an ancient sun symbol, and the setting sun, the luminous red disk was archetypical.  The serpents might have been connected with Egyptian material….  I was able to link the picture up with the sea of blood I had previously fantasized about.   Soon after, I had a dream in which the hero Siegfried was killed by myself … destroying the hero ideal of my efficiency.  This has to be sacrificed in order that an new adaptation can be made …  the sacrifice of the superior function in order to get at the libido necessary to activate the inferior functions.”

This is transpersonal, in the sense that the Hero figure is outgrown and re-mastered collectively in the century’s generations to follow, and in the current media mess.

The secret murder recalls that of Hiram Abiff – (the heart and wisdom of the masonic Temple) – by the shallow intellect.   The old symbols are collected in the Great Akashic Museum, common property of all humanity.

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At the time of Jung’s writing, science was full of arrogance.  The fallout from that arrogance continues as technology-worship;  but among the clever monkey brains there are by now many men and women of science who wonder, and who keep their question open:  in Jung’s red-book day, the Quantum discovery and Relativity theory were yet to come: men like Bohm and Capra and their seed.

The dense Kali Yuga yet prompts deep intelligences of the Light:  and a counteractive movement of the Spirit.   The Spirit of humanity gains sensitive intelligence deep down, as its surface representative decays.

Jung saw thousands of serpents striving toward a red sun in the depth – they veil it – and a stream of thick red blood welled up;  he was seized with fear.

Jung said – Heal the wounds that doubt inflicts on me, my soul … I am still a victim of my thinking.  He struggles to see his guide, through the howling thoughts, those unruly hounds.  He must drink the bitter draught to the lees.  The bad prison master of his Knowledge threatened to collapse and engulf him in a lightless cell.

My God;  his writing …   “Protect me from the serpent of judgement which only appears to be a healing serpent, yet in Your depths is infernal poison and agonizing death.  I want to go down cleansed into Your depths with white garments, and not rush in like some thief, seizing whatever I can and fleeing breathlessly.  Let me persist in divine astonishment, so that I am ready to behold Your wonders.  Let me lay my head on a stone before your door, so that I am prepared to receive Your light.”

A window: isle of eigg, hebrides

A window: isle of eigg, hebrides

Afford courtesy, grace, time and space, to the denizens before the door.   Give it time.  Give the Master recognition and time.

small mandala

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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/

The Red Book and Philemon

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orchid

Change of plan … I’m afraid my blogging is getting rather active again.  I have to postpone till tomorrow, the sequel to “Each Day is Solstice” about child art and mythology, as Jung’s Red Book begins to take hold of me.   To read when I found it … scroll back to my two Tarka Trail posts, in October !

Philemon in the red book

Philemon in the red book

I am still in the translator’s introduction.  Here are this morning’s notes:

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Had war not been declared in 1914, Liber Novus the Red Book might not have been compiled!  The war outbreak affirmed to Jung that it was not he who was going mad (twelve precognitive visions 1913/14) but the European subconscious;  and so the Red Book integrates what he might otherwise have fallen victim to.

The psycho analytical theory in those days was:  (his talk in Aberdeen on 28 July ’14) – “In cases of neuroses and psychosis, the unconscious attempted to compensate the one-sided conscious attitude … which had supposedly become rigid.  The unbalanced individual defends himself against this, and the opposites become more polarized.  The corrective impulses that present themselves in the language of the unconscious should be the beginning of a healing process, but the form in which they break through, makes them unacceptable to consciousness.”

In other words, LIBER NOVUS is Jung’s platform of individuation:  his recognition of a collective psychosis, and his summoning of the Physicians from the deep past, being a native of neutral Switzerland.

This inevitable Great War included Hitler and Nazism and Holocaust – the nadir of our history.  (The technological revolution which followed this period is but a sticking-plaster.) Immediately after Jung’s lecture in Aberdeen, the war was declared;  his personal relief as he set foot in Holland was yet considerable, that the responsibility for catastrophe was not his in isolation, it was in the subsoil;  and he knew now what to do.

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“The insane person falls victim because he cannot integrate the fantasy-material but is swallowed up by it.”   Creative involvement, on the other hand, embraces and engages consciously with it.   (Tarot Keys 1, 2 and 6:  the conscious self, the subconscious, and their reciproprocal activity).  It is like being either broken by the wave, or surfing it.   Creative involvement recognises a Great Work’s necessity …  and rebirth of God in the soul.   Creative involvement rolls up the sleeves and gets on with it.

It felt like this, when I tackled my own Earthquake.   I knew, although I hadn’t studied Jung, that I stood, like many do, on his shoulders:  he was the First Navigator of our time.

Here are two paintings from my Earthquake series in 1986:  scenes of my soul in leafy West Hampstead …

Kreutzer Sonata erupts '86

Kreutzer Sonata erupts ’86

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Ferryman '86

Ferryman ’86 – Oistrakh, Menuhin & musicians of W.Hampstead

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In November 1914, Jung studied Zarathustra.   In 1913, when he had the 12 visions, he was nearly 40, and having his Uranus Opposition.   (I was having mine, during the Earthquake.)

The Uranus Opposition in astrology – Uranus opposite its natal position in our chart –  arrives when we are reach the roaring forties.  It challenges us to navigate our small boats across the ocean.  Those who are ripe for this passage, confront their Shadow and achieve great things for humanity, whether concealed or openly.  The fallout from the voyage goes on being clarified for the rest of their lives.

“Liber Novus is an attempt to shape an individual cosmology.  The role of Philemon in Jung’s work is analogous to Zarathustra and to Virgil.”

These I love:  the Great Physicians, the appearance of Philemon, as the mud in the puddle parts, to reveal the clear blue sky.

B.O.T.A.Tarot Key 13.  Death is the movement through Life.  The Hebrew letter NUN assigned to this Key, means "a fish" or even a seed, like the symbol in the top left hand corner.  The ruler is Scorpio - the scorpio-force of alchemy

B.O.T.A.Tarot Key 13. Death is the movement through Life. The Hebrew letter NUN assigned to this Key, means “a fish” or even a seed, like the symbol in the top left hand corner. The ruler is Scorpio – the scorpio-force of alchemy

Jung for me for Xmas!   At last I am connecting with his work, and I must stop here, today, as the excitement fills my jug.   (Just saw this – an N in the “jug” is Hebrew letter NUN, whose colour vibration is turquoise, the fish, the Key of Death, Movement and Transfiguration – the scorpio force of our second birth in life.  The Great Fishes are our deepest dreams.

Yesterday I blogged my Solstice piece, and spent hours on a sketch of Jung in his study.  The online photo was wonderfully suggestive but very difficult to work from, as he is lamplit, and gnome-like and fierce with his pipe and deep shadows and an Enormous Book in his hands.

I cannot find a repro anywhere of Jung’s first (initial) painting of Philemon – the kingfisher one – so what about reconstructing it for myself, this morning ?

During the later part of my Earthquake – the pain of life broke open and inward – and for many subsequent years, I was engaged with a Guide who inspired me every day and drew me along.   In the early days, this was Hermes Trismegistos into whose Hand I fell.  Later on, there were Ramana and Le Comte.   I have a devotee’s need to be aligned with a beloved Preceptor, and for several years this has felt rather scattered.  Today I feel the presence of Jung and his Preceptors and Elder Physicians, like the arches of a holy Temple.  I feel aligned with deep history.   They are all working alchemically in the world’s crisis.   They are yeast to the rising Bread.

young amazon, 1957

young amazon, 1957

Together with the Red Book, came Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead (1916), a seminal draft of all his work to come.  These profound psalms of non-duality were given to him by “Basilides”.  They awaken the “unconscious” – “The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they did not find what they were seeking.  They asked admittance to me and demanded to be taught by me, and thus I taught them:  Hear ye – I begin with nothing.  Nothing is the same as fullness.  In the endless state, fullness is the same as emptiness … …  is called by us the PLEROMA.”

Jung wrote of his first meeting with Philemon, in 1913:  “His figure first appeared to me in the following dream.  There was a blue sky, like the sea, covered not by clouds but by flat brown clods of earth.  It looked as if the clods were breaking apart, and the blue water of the sea were becoming visible between them.  But the water was the blue sky.  Suddenly there appeared from the right, a winged being sailing across the sky.  I saw that it was an old man with the horns of a bull.  He held a bunch of four keys, one of which he clutched as if he were about to open a lock.  He had the wings of a kingfisher with its characteristic colours. 

“Since I did not understand this dream image, I painted it, in order to impress it upon my memory.  During the days when I was occupied with the painting, I found in my garden, by the lake shore, a dead kingfisher!  I was thunderstruck, for kingfishers are quite rare in the vicinity of Zurich, and I have never since found a dead one … 

“Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life.  Philemon represented a force which was not myself.  In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought.  For I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I.  He said I created thoughts as if I generated them myself, but in his view thoughts were like animals in the forest, or people in a room, or birds in the air, and added, ‘If you should see people in a room, you would not think that you had made those people, or that you were responsible for them.’  It was he who taught me psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche.”

C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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I need to ponder Jung’s visions, and walk with him in the garden.   “Let us draw together.”

Obviously Jung’s painting of Philemon in the Red Book which heads this post, is not the same as the one in his dream, which has horns.  Nor could I locate where the original might be.   So I decided this morning to try to paint my own version:

Impression of Jung's dream of Philemon in 1913

My impression of Jung’s dream of Philemon in 1913

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From a distance, the Philemon kingfisher looks like a quill or pen the right hand holds;  and the dead kingfisher might be the left-hand or feminine side:  the sleeping grey stone slabs on which the bird rests, are pages of a book.  There are hints of the dead, the wounded and renewal.  Only connect … the sides of consciousness.

Addendum – The Language of the Dead

Jung’s self-art-therapy interpreted and viewed his thoughts not reductively, but objectively – such as the relation of introversion to extroversion, pain or pleasure.  A reductionist interpretation obscures the view which opens.  In the Emerald Tablet it is written, “I speak no fiction, but what is certain and most true.”  I know it to be certain and true, because it has occurred to other souls – by intuition.  I can call it THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD.

Philemon held 4 keys.  With one, he seemed to open a lock.  The lock is this cruciform Mandala - one of Jung's first pencil sketches for the Red Book. Mandalas are the gate and symbol to wholeness.  Jung's future patients drew and painted wonderful Mandalas.

Philemon held 4 keys. With one, he seemed to open a lock. The lock is this cruciform Mandala – one of Jung’s first pencil sketches for the Red Book. Mandalas are the gate and symbol to wholeness. Jung’s future patients drew and painted wonderful Mandalas.

The dead bird is where the book is open but unknown.   Yet all is known.  My new picture has the parting mud – like bright brown fishes – and the water of life.  It is projected as if I am the sea bed looking up:  yet it is the shore of Jung’s lake and sky, blood from the war spills into it; and the approaching Kingfisher Philemon suggests an alternative dimension which slants across the composition.

Interpretation therefore, looks forward into the opening, into the unknown factor coming in, rather than backward into a theory.  Francis Lucille said “an artist should leave the centre empty.”   While painting it, I do not know what message it will reveal;  I struggle with the details and to get the colours to work better.

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This morning – the next – I wrote:
The dead do not have faces, so they do not talk together, and sometimes they cling to the living, to the living faces of speech.  The dead clutched at Harry Potter from out of the underground lake when he dipped a shell for water;  Frodo raised the legions of the dead in Lord of the Rings for the conclusive battle:  and Basilides of Alexandria summoned and preached to the dead, during the Great War, through Jung.  The collective subconscious is the dead – the carpet where we walk.  The Great Work in the interior, awakens their faces, the carpet comes to life, do not trample it, it is holy ground – “tread softly for you tread on my dreams” (Yeats).

THE POWER OF THE DEAD …  We really are the Awakened Dead – as a result of Jung facing his own.   Who knows what this hidden unconscious power holds?  Its presence is undetected by statistic sciences … a whole part of their equation is missing.

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(continued in Mandala, Abraxas and the Angel)

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

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

aquariel link

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

The Solstice of Each Day

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summer-solstice-northern-hemisphere www.space.com:21668 photo by Tariq Malek

summer-solstice-northern-hemisphere http://www.space.com
photo by Tariq Malek

This morning a cloud has cleared, and I feel the peace and quiet and drawing-in of the solstice, and the opening from the longest night, and sense of Yuletide:  primitive and in my own (re)treat.

woman in cornwall

Yesterday I found this drawing I attempted and discarded about 18 months ago, after I “caught sight in my mind” of a childhood Queen, looking out to sea.  It is more expressive than I thought.  The vision happened, just before I discovered and recognised the “original” in my old drawing books from when I was seven.  I shall write more of this, in my next post.

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I bought a book the other day, The Radiant Child.  It is by Thomas Armstrong, and was published in 1985 by Quest.  It offers a psychological insight into the hidden face of childhood.  I suppose that since it was written, the constraints around child psychology have loosened, and admit far more, the “descent of the Spirit” which is transpersonal – it seeks out the receptive personal nature for it.   In many young children the faculty is not encouraged or developed enough, but for some it is – and who knows what psychologists know about children anyway? or think they know?   Much of our linear education obliterates it.  The proof of the pudding is inside the child’s world …  inside mine, for reference.

Jacobs Ladder, showing the Four Worlds

Jacobs Ladder, showing the Four Worlds

I feel I can contribute, having been enabled to keep a record of my early years.  It is a useful angle on spiritual evolution, and is the reason I upload my childhood working process here.

The Radiant Child gives a good layman’s introduction to the esoteric perspective, and speaks significantly of the Four Worlds common to all traditions and cultures.  Everything it proposes is in my recorded experience and development.

The Transpersonal Spirit encircles childhood – the little bud – and enters it sometimes like a sperm.   The Transpersonal Spirit is timeless.   It seems plain, from my mother’s letters at the time, that it came to me in infancy:  and the pressure of the artist from five onwards, tells the rest.  Whether or not I knew the Self, I don’t know;  but some deltas from the human genius as a whole, engaged with my atoms for sure:  the passion, the commitment, the concentration.   Some of my early non-verbal childhood sensations suggest its movement, or its withdrawal.  (See my earlier posts on Childhood, parts 1, 2, 3.)

In adult years, I grasped with intellectual ease, the fourth dimension, and whence all spiritual traditions derive, and aim towards.  This theme pervades my life of time and space and enclosures, and is not any of them.  A friend of mine knows and says that all comes forth from and returns to Allah in the Great Sphere.

In a world whose children are crushed and maimed with war, neglect and abuse, I feel it is essential to keep the lamp which values childhood alight, wherever we can.  For this special awareness, mostly unknown to us as we become lettered and fettered with belief, is unbound – boundless, and – like our sexuality – the secret core and contagion of our human sense of being.

From my early years, my windows were made to stay porous : osmosis two ways.   Yet I am not “sensitized” in the way many contemporary kundalini awakenings are.   I suppose I am at ease with the condition, because the artist’s way, the poet’s way was and is its conduit through myself.

The passion and the commitment entered my Liverpool sketchbooks in its own way, at 19/20 years old, and abandoned Liverpool when it had absorbed and recorded enough there.

My archive keeping honours the Spirit.   I don’t attend a ceremony for solstice:  yet every single morning of the year I do a ceremony;  I light candles, invoke the Kabbalist Tree of Life, open my laptop, and I write.   Thus we greet the Solstice of each day, and awaken the Christ Child;  the eternal child of Christmas.   He was not historically born at xmas, but the seed of the Light is where the night is long and dark, ever since we struck spark from stones and lit our fires in caves near the river.   The virgin – she who is ripe – carries him in her womb.

The embryo gender before it begins to differentiate, is feminine … the mater, la mer, the sea.  Full humanas continues to be carried in the womb, closely furled.

Unknown rosebud

Visible humanity today is a process incomplete, with a long way to go.   There are cyclic golden ages past, and yet to come;  the same within us individually, as collectively.  Awakening into humanas is potential everywhere, and in places visible as Consciousness;  it is possible that our dark, separative tantrum-toddler forces pollute and extinguish the presentation of it, on our beautiful Earth.   Consciousness however, prevails unaltered.   Higher human consciousness and compassion is none other than cosmic Consciousness …  through galactic dark matter which is thought.  It is berthed and earthed wherever there is gravity, in innumerable forms.   I have a sense here, through a glass darkly, of the Reality of the upper astral plane we essentially co-create, and the mental plane:  illumined landscapes and the temples of Eternity.

Towards this fact, certain pretty ideas of new age channelers about Earth’s ascension – about the good people rising up and all the nasty people dropping away – they almost reach the mark, but are groping and too literal.  So what’s new?   In most regions, the available human intelligence is somewhat fundamentalist and limited.

But come home here to hear your intimate thought and feeling process.  What ascends into the bright sky in this moment?  What obscurity drops away?   What is letting go and letting god?  What resists, and goes on replaying the movie?   It starts at home.   Solstice!

xmas card text - Version 2

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So now, on to Jung … for I begin now, to journey with his Red Book, a little at a time.

Jung started by visualizing himself digging a hole.  But he had already studied trance, automatic writing and Loyola’s and Swedenborg’s spiritual exercises, and he corresponded with Silberer who experimented with allowing images to appear.   Self-experimenters were active in that period before the War broke out.   A colleague called Straudenmaier coined a phrase Unterbewusstsein – Under-consciousness …  the same word as my “Underbeing!”

Deliberately evoke a fantasy in a waking state, then enter into it as into a drama.  Jung wrote down his mythological journeys in the black books – “the book of my most difficult experiment” (December 1913 – 100 years ago.)  Jung “emptied his conscious mind” so as to allow psychic contents to appear spontaneously.

In a way I do the same.  My writing empties mind of what is floating around or concerning me;  then the Underbeing comes up – the deep advisor, or poet.   Each morning when I write, there are at least a few moments of tumbling back into silence and the slow deep river:  the well.   I feel it in my back.

When Jung was up against the wall which was Freud, something in him said “it is not so”.  After two years of active imagination/symbolic thinking, so many ideas rushed in on him that … he appealed to his hands, and began to carve wood.   Philemon first appeared in a dream, in 1913 or early 1914.   Jung painted him from this kingfisher coloured dream: the sky appeared through mud – he found a dead kingfisher in his garden, very rare.  Philemon was at first Elijah, then he became an Egypto-Hellenic Gnostic pagan.  “He represented superior insight.”  In April 1914, Jung resigned from his academic posts.

The wall is there to drive one back into Reality.   Jung would converse with Philemon his guru, in the garden.   It is like the dream conversation I had with Jung in a garden.  Philemon had four keys.  In my dream there were four drawings, images I had made, arranged in a square, like a window.  I showed him them. One of them was the sketch of Jung at Bollingen which he “asked me for a copy of”, and which I drew shortly afterward.  I did not recall the others.

Jung & his house at Bollingen

The Godcosm … these things, and where they beckon … is deeply reflective.

I would like to be more investigative.  Work objectively with my One who represents superior insight.   WORK WITH YOU.

During his early investigations (conducted in the evenings), Jung partitioned his activities.  His family, his profession and his military service, kept him earthed in the human Assiyah.

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Jung in his study

Jung in his study

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(This is continued through the posts which follow, and also in Aquariel – Mandala, Abraxas and the Angel)

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

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

aquariel link

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