The Queen and the King – Part One – A Kabbalist’s Impression

pansy for gk30

9-11 September 2022

This is Part One of a pair of posts – linked to Part Two, “The Queen, King and Commonwealth – an Epiphany.”

When I saw the photo of the Queen taken on 6 September at Balmoral moments before she welcomed the new PM, I was moved by the radiance in her face … with her departure just 2 days away.

Here is my tribute:

1 queen elizabeth 6 sept (1) copy

The hearth-fire symbolises the nation’s heart – often hidden behind the coals.  We might see faces in the fire?  A friend  spotted an “Indian master in a turban” – profiled among the flames and so did others – an “accidental”. Britain’s link with India from the Raj until Gandhi and independence was both good and bad;  the relationship struck deep. Vivekananda visited these shores in Victoria’s time; Theosophy and Krishnamurti followed. The earliest Westerners to settle with Ramana Maharshi at Arunachala were English.  My friend said, “Could this be the Queen’s Magid (companion of the Light) waiting to escort her?” 

1a Indian master in the fire

2 queen elizabeth 6 sept (2) copy

… and herself perhaps a few months ago … that tired but firm little hand held and greeted hundreds, tens, hundreds of thousands and more?

3 queen elizabeth copy


12 September                  TRIBUTE

And here is my first one of the new King. On the Tree of Life the monarch represents “Tifareth” – the country’s heart centre; as Prince of Wales at Highgrove he sowed good organic seed through “interesting times”. I feel I grew up in nature near him like my brother – we are the same age, we share an early fascination for the sheep on Scottish hills AND the tensions of the spiritual quest. This is significant in our post-war generation and the huge changes and unrest afoot.

4 King Charles iii (1) copy

During his hardworking Princely years I admired his spiritual courage and his stubborn unorthodox dedication to ethical values in environment, architecture, and the business networks; his wide ranging experience of the world, his mature understanding of people, his own flaws, his sensitivity, and wicked sense of fun; his loved one at his side. This King was a visionary pioneer all his life – and it was a hard learning curve for him to balance that with his royal duties.

Something reached out to me in the photo. Those hats are difficult to draw, let alone to bring out the human being under them!



My teacher the late Zev ben Shimon Halevi (Warren Kenton) and our new King Charles met several times over the years. They respected one another though Charles was not his student.  

My reflection on the Queen’s funeral and succession is tethered on the Kabbalist principle of expansion and contraction. Britain expanded as an empire and contracted as an island.  Some of us sit on the monarchical fence and some of us on the republican fence. My vocation is to find and honour the Middle Way inclusively; the quality of life which Queen Elizabeth II lived, and  remained loyal to, whatever her opinions may have been. Look at what her dedicated example inspired in people’s hearts around the world. This in essence is likely to endure. With international and government issues she remained resolutely neutral, yet her friendly shrewd words, her touch and gesture travelled many times further than she did.  She was a Servant in the highest sense.

The Tree of Life is my navigational instrument.  It helps me to perceive the elegant Design in the laws of Creation, life and government – action upon reaction – whose electricity is  played out over three pillars  – Jakin/Active, Bohaz/Receptive, and the central Consciousness. Those pillars form a trinity: the poles of male, female and neutral (androgyne).  

5 tree of life Sefira

For more information of Toledano tradition visit

I try to view events and the inner life through the Tree’s Four Worlds – those of Divine Emanation, Creation, Formation (the psyche) and the Material world.   What manifests through our senses and through collective mind, are the lowest rungs of Jacob’s Ladder: the temporary end product of a process which constantly downloads through those Four Worlds.  We are a project yet incomplete.  Should we mistake the scaffolding for the completed building?

The word “Kabbalah” means “Receive”. The Tree’s heart centre is Tifareth, Beauty.  
“Let us form a Vessel.”

As the monarchy and politics play out their roles on the Tree’s right and left pillars, I trace an inner story through the Centre.  

Here is my personal reflection.



13-15 September             SOVEREIGN ROLE

Was the royal desk in truth ever as tidy as that?

6 King Charles iii (2) copy

As Prince of Wales, our King possessed many more interests and arms than an octopus and a dedicated court of toiling delegates to carry out his abundant schemes. He has been a walking Renaissance, integrating his enquiring spirituality with pioneering initiatives in government, music, organic farming, architecture, the armed services, the business world, the Duchy of Cornwall, ecology and climate change, politics, watercolour painting, and intimate friendships. He designed and built a new town in Dorchester on holistic community principles. He was instrumental in resurrecting an almost lost art of sacred geometry in the Middle East; he was a close friend of the late Keith Critchlow.

Look up their role in the restoration of the Minbar of Saladin in Jerusalem.  A Minbar is “a Ladder to Heaven” and from it the Imam addressed the faithful.

This fascinating sequence of 5 threaded videos details the 12th century history of the Minbar, its destruction on August 21,1969 by a fundamentalist Christian tourist (Michael Rohan) and its reconstruction 20 years later by the Bedouin architect Minwer Al-M’Heid with the support of the Prince of Wales and Keith Critchlow who together had created a School for sacred craftsmanship.

History came full circle to turn an opening creative spiral – from destruction and war to knowledge and Light.

This is just one example of the King’s (then Prince of Wales) projects and sponsorship which brought nations, communities and cultures together in the spirit of tolerance and peace.  Those who question how much he cost might consider the long-term value for their money?

minbar 12


In his words: “What I was so proud about – if I’m allowed to have a tiny bit of pride – is that it was the School … who had rediscovered the underlying geometric patterns that had enabled this great Minbar to be built in the first place, with equally as much love and devotion and skill and dedication and care on the part of all the wonderful craftsmen who put so much of their hearts and souls into this Work.

minbar 22

minbar 6



Let Minwer Al-M’Heid the architect and engineer of the restored Minbar of Saladin, sponsored by the then Prince of Wales, conclude:

“When you see it happening, when you see all these pieces you have worked with, all these 16,000 pieces that are put together with no glue, no nails, all of a sudden appearing as one Unit – that’s the Unity.  That’s what we feel as something which gives us also great humbleness.  

“We see what our ancestors have done and that art has a meaning, not ‘art for art’s sake’.  Although this is a piece of Islamic art it is in fact based on Universal principles – a joy for everyone who sees it.”

minbar 20

The ancient sacred craft – and the network of its Guilds – was resurrected in the nick of time. Without the providential convergence of the Prince of Wales, Keith Critchlow, the King of Jordan and the architect Minwer Al-M’Heid, it would have been lost for ever.  Quiet creative hands awaken a chrism of healing patterns through the chaos of war and walls – a School of the Soul at work.

ragged robin 


All this creative activity is distilled into one surrendered vow to receive and serve the realm. The King is human, oh so human and all too human. Let us watch him with interest!


While I drew his portrait here, I watched his and Camilla’s state visit to Northern Ireland pouring oil among troubled Sinn Fein at Hillsborough castle and meeting the Irish President  – a diplomatic gathering of wounds for chrism and the soft way the sovereign glides, encounters, embraces and speaks – imagine that mellifluous twinkle coming at you – and his dear Queen Consort works the room with equal skill – like a bird. Everyone in black. I witnessed a collective therapy … may those fragile fibres begin to cohere and to sustain life – what a privilege to see the King at work!

8 charles irish president

Here he greets the Irish president

For long intervals the Sky-News commentators were silent for you to hear that gathered genial sound in the room, the conversations, the whispered greetings of many rivers, many fading wars.

During the service in Belfast Cathedral which they attended, Alastair Bruce of “Sky” noted:
“… different elements of the Catholic faith here in Northern Ireland;  and no Sovereign could be under any doubt of the history and importance of these different views on faith, than the King … acknowledging faith, find their own understanding for the way the world works and a Deity in that process … the monarchy wove a tapestry of time through this country (Ireland) …”

A stillness descends and darkens London in the rain as the cortege approaches Buckingham Palace … Repeatedly through the event is this stillness, to hear the birds sing.

In Belfast Cathedral the priests came forward praying one by one to the departed Queen and to her son:

“Deep peace to you 
Deep peace of the running wave to you 
Deep peace of the flowing air to you 
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you 
Deep peace of the shining stars to you 
Deep peace of the Son/Sun of peace 
and the blessing of the Trinity be upon you, Amen.”

Her Majesty’s passing at 96 allowed her son to ripen on the tree in his vigour as Prince of Wales with all his passionate projects. His working life now changes, but he was long in training. He as Sovereign is an inspiration to me; bow to my Liege. When on duty His Majesty is groomed and genial but at home his comfy light suits rumple. Imagine having to wear one on a hot summer day.

In my own way, I join the reverent queue to pass and see the coffin and hear the bell and the muted drum: with my 7B pencil as witness and worshipper I pray for Her Majesty’s safe passage through the astral realms to God; I watch from home her son’s work yesterday in Northern Ireland, he builds on the pioneering grace of her visits there, and her historic handshake. The Sovereign role stepped through the barricades.




The funeral procession! The people pray and gather along the trails and in the cities to weep and cheer.  Accompanied by her daughter Anne the Princess Royal, close as they were in life, the Queen is borne slowly from Scotland through Britain’s roads and airways to her resting place – to earth the astral design.   After she landed at Northolt in dripping rain at nightfall, the helicopter camera peered down through West London’s dark wet leaves to follow her illumined hearse – a bright fish swimming its private way home.

Kabbalistically the pattern on the ground follows precisely in time (as the days go by) her “holy place of meeting” with Companions of the Light. With those Beings on the inner plane I glimpse swords and knights and royal orders – the nourishment in England’s heart. Protocol is an ancient sacred dance. The King’s job and character may “tango” it a little here and there. A delight to see, is the walkabouts when he and his Queen Consort get out of the car. Straight away they meet the crowd, the King opens his arms forward to receive and embrace the empathy and warm condolence; they answer and chatter and smile, firmly they both grasp the forests of out-thrust joyous hands – touching each and every one – and are beamed by a bristle of small phone screens to capture their image for home.

Paradoxically in a new age of screens and tense security the Sovereign is no longer in a glass case. Touch him!  A security woman stoutly pushed away an iPad – it was a little too large. What a curious interface we have.

Simultaneously the King is in mourning for his Mama – he dreaded the deaths of both his parents. The aftermath of a death is busy at every level. A deeply seasoned sensitive man is in the land’s highest office.

7 charles & camilla belfast cathedral


17 September                  A TURNING PAGE

When the heart of a nation is touched and quietened, the turbulent streams may knit together again over it, but the Resonance remains. May the family pull together for “our brother Charles”.

Heard in central London today during walkabout (police addressing the phones) – “no selfies please – you can shake hands with His Majesty and wish him well; enjoy the moment, please!”

I also heard the King while addressing the Welsh speak of “the duty to protect the diversity of this country with all my heart as Defender of Faith.” As head of the Anglican church his duty is to defend “the” faith while his ecumenical heart stands for openness in all faiths: for faith itself.

After the children’s vigil last night, the commentator Alastair Bruce spoke of the monarchy:

“to consistently reinvent itself, to be relevant, capable and new … A page is turning in the national story. It is that turned page that provides the opportunity for all these people who are passing through, who wish to make their respects to Elizabeth II, to just get on with their lives, do what they do, have the opinions they enjoy, be furious, be happy, be energetically desiring change, or wanting to achieve different things in their lives. That is what the Monarchy should provide – as the pivot around which people can be themselves and the nation can thrive.”

9 charles & camilla belfast



19 September                  PROCESSION

… Glued for days to Sky news about the Queen’s pre-funeral progress through the population and the 5 mile queue through a night and day to salute quietly her bier in Westminster Hall; the children’s and grandchildren’s vigils; the King and his son on walkabouts to the astonished queuers.  A little boy broke down in tears after the King shook his hand and wailed “my heart is bursting” – he can hardly bear it.   The commentators say it is unprecedented and unexpected.  Naturally the Queen and her hand-over pierces the nation to the core.  

10 the Queen copy

Sweet breakthrough –  butterfly is camouflaged to the wood grain, the leaf, the flower, the pattern of the Divine – all my life with fishing line as the fish in the pond tossed and played.

I got out my bike and rode to Westminster to immerse in what is going on.  I hoped it wouldn’t be barricaded off and that I might be able to get quite close to the Great Room to offer my respects.  Moving slowly with the friendly flow – like a vast holiday, packing the pavements – I was trickled and nudged across Parliament square and along a street between the Abbey and the Houses of Parliament … and discovered I was just across the road from the entrance to the Hall itself (I had forgotten where it was) and there behind a small-mesh screen was the queue of pilgrims with their backpacks and families.  They had shuffled all night along the Thames from way East of Tower Bridge, igniting international friendships on the way … now reaching their journey’s end … and that profoundly silent and climactic moment. 

This pavement opposite them was not congested. I stood there for half an hour by the Abbey’s tail (East chapel) as if I were in the Hall itself by the bier, I watched and absorbed, I chanted and prayed with Mischa Rutenberg’s Meher Baba songs in my earbuds.

Reflecting on the architecture (I haven’t been around there for many a year) … how interesting  that the Parliamentary ranks and rows of ambitious talk and bitter conflict are intersected by the ancient sacred space of Westminster Hall which holds the Sovereign like a flower.  Peace and stillness descends on each weary pilgrim, a butterfly baptism, the soft kiss of a new order.  Just as the Prime Minister began her new post, the Royal axe chopped through the nation’s busy hurting mind straight to the heart and silenced everything.  

The connection generated a holistic shockwave.  The media express ideas I never believed to hear from their mouths.  The atmosphere among the crowds was not grief but celebration of what draws the nation together in a way no one had fathomed, it gives us all a break.   It was holiday-like, patient, flexible, slow moving, a beautiful clear sunny day with big galleon clouds in the crisp blue sky.  It was multi-culturally British with hundreds of police in tall Dixon of Dock Green helmets. Dozens of cheery Afro Asian crowd-movers did their job with a smile on their faces and helpful advice.  They and the police handed out badges and stickers to children, and guarded the realm.   They must have been so tired!  They, the guardians honoured this unique day.   Tents, chairs, and picnics crammed the street corners.

marbles ris f

I stood there singing to her. When a big equipment convoy jammed the road, I moved on, nudging my bike’s front wheel gently along the pavement. I wanted to see the opposite doorway of the great Room near the river where the pilgrims emerge, and to catch sight of their zig zag approach through the Parliament gardens. I ended up crossing the river to push my bike up its south bank contra the pilgrim flow, and onto Westminster Bridge back to Big Ben.  I tried to figure out the geography of the great Hall which in due course fell into place.   The bright flocks thronged the evening sunshine on the big bold river.   Brilliance … and sharp, deep shadows.  Light and darkness – a unifying moment within conflict; an upheaved oasis amidst uncertainty.   It felt like an earthquake.

Back in Parliament Square again I was stuck for a long time – everyone was – awaiting more convoys of “dignitaries”.   When it cleared the crowd streamed in good order with the lightest official touch.  Where it was really thick the crowd managers linked jovially hand in hand to part the rivers.  Yes it was their day.  

I wanted to see the front of Westminster Abbey and to watch the funeral today with a proper sense of scale and having been there.   The crowd gently thinned out with the flow.  I followed a small labyrinth of streets to the other side – via a good old fashioned pub. It spilled out onto the pavement where I enjoyed my pint of Tribute and crisps.  I looked for a while at the Abbey’s exquisite silvery west face, L’Art gothique in the reign of Henry III; then turned to ride home – twilight – via Hyde Park corner and the Edgware road … through a peaceful maze of traffic barriers.   Victoria Street was open for walkers and bikes.  

wild violet

When a person dies an energy is released; in my observation it is – (as well as the physical body liberating the subtle unlimited one) – that which bonded the friends of her soul.  That entity stands forth stronger than the embodiment.   What within the soul’s lifetime composition drew friends, lovers, conflicts, and fields of effort together?   I watched this again and again at funerals where I saw grief but simultaneously an uplift, a feasting, a meeting of companions in the Light, a birth. 

The Queen united a common wealth.   Unity’s hand is upon the land as it encounters a rough sea of steep challenges, one after the other.   She built and carved her succession in the family like a cathedral – to stand as sanctuary and to last. 

Within each of us who witnessed, it awakes unique and private ways – precisely positioned within “Interesting Times”.

11 ashkeys ris 1

Ash keys – Druidic symbol of rebirth, transformation, and initiation – roots deep in the ground (Photo by Marisa)


20 September                  ROLLED LIKE A MARBLE TO REST

Her arrival, committal and sinking through the floor at Windsor was especially moving:  the removal of her ball and sceptre and Crown jewels to the neutral altar;  the Lord Chamberlain breaking the wand of office, the deep solemnity of archetypes with a lot of devoted and very tired people – her entire household and staff.

old glass marbles

All over the land there is an awakening, a reminder that there is more to us than the daily bad news!    

It distracted the nation from the grim economy spike which makes millions fear the winter –  battered with Brexit, corona virus and now the financial crisis tripped off with the war in Europe.   The new King is beleaguered and lost his temper in public over a leaky fountain pen.  Throughout the funeral the raw grief for his mother was exposed in his sensitive weathered face.   I drew a picture (below) of him and Camilla relaxing in Maori or Inuit animal hides;  I saw what he loves, her eyes are his home; and I drew the Queen shaking hands with an elephant (Prince Philip looking on, with a quip); and then I drew her looking girlish and radiant – that one developed easily without mistakes.

The nadir point in the King’s life may have been his first marriage: discovering the sweet suitable girl he was hitched to would never be the Queen he needed to help him with his sovereign duty; that nothing he did or tried to help her with could heal or prevent her despair. He with his inborn responsibility to the Realm was trapped, alienated and desperately unhappy.   In those days the family was an unrelenting fortress and the media a pack of hyenas.   It took the divorces and scandals of three of the four children for the fortress to soften into a wounded Windsor castle and for the Queen to emerge as a “public saint” with a strong succession – Charles and after him his son William.   That family suffered everything the century inflicted upon the people, larger than life in the public eye.  The heart of the land beats with their Mystery Play.  

12 King Charles & Queen Camilla copy

For the first time I heard Camilla’s voice, her duchess-y warmth, her maturity, her style with the King as his Queen consort.   When I draw her I see Charles’s harbour in her eyes.   Very carefully Queen Elizabeth fixed everything in place before she crossed over.   By attrition she over-rode the Church convention deep in herself and in constitutional law.  Perhaps she remembered how Philip was her mainstay … the progressive relaxation in attitude may have been Philip’s no-nonsense suggestion.   She had him by her side, a firm and beloved mate.  Her son Charles has his own – a woman who also loves horses; with whom his mother could laugh and poke fun.   Imagine the pair of women together in headscarves and gumboots, hamming up the “royal”.

The funeral was a huge performance for the populace:  the problems continue.   It awakened a ray of grace and a double rainbow; we need to resolve our own issues from home, not tug the Royal hand to do it for us.   Their example in the Mystery Play is yet a reminder, an inspiration … to try to manage ourselves better; particularly as we enter a period of relative austerity.   This austerity I believe, may peel off some of the consumerist luxuries we have become dependent on.  What are they compared to the post war austerity?  Can the mass-market “more-and-more” which mushroomed since the 1980s be sustained?  Isn’t it the basis for a collapsing economy?  Any presiding government-elect must be its scapegoat.

There is always the balancing out.  So carry the great change.   It may return us towards a lost gold standard – a water table – an authentic economy, built on value.  There is a longing for this.

marisa trees 3

Tall oak near Plumstead – photo by Marisa

The Queen’s heritage is her eldest son our King as a visible leader of the land.  His nature (despite loyalty to protocol) is to come out and say what he thinks.  People remark, “It will never be the same again”.   May it continue to grow and evolve in this flexible way?  The family itself, downsizing, pruned, and coming out into the open  inspires respect and compassion.

The public eye is a fickle sheep.  Not so long ago the Queen was still “a buttoned up Ma’am” – since then by careful spin she blossomed into “a radiant Granny” who united the world.   My fidelity to her and her family and their job is steadfast since the age of six.   Fidelity is unspectacular and unwavering.   It watches the public wave-machine scoop and push back and forth.  

dew wisteria jewels

I am tugged into my core, leaving behind the dross which pretended to matter.  The core effulges and delivers like a white rose … feeling myself suddenly within the veins of a man’s Mystery.   We see in life’s shrines a Mystery Play like the dramatised poems of the early Christians.   In the street close to the nation’s heart I was gently rolled like a marble to rest, to watch the queue enter the oldest and longest room, after a longest night shuffling along the riverbank. Each soul brought to the Queen an open secret – his or her private Treasure.  A little girl danced and jumped and flung her arms up because they were nearly there!  They could touch the building’s stone.

If the Queen’s body in her bier was the nation’s heart, the queue to enter was a vein of blue blood seeking oxygen and the people flowing out from a pulse of peace were a life-filled artery.  Here I am, with rainbow flowers in my heart … like those flung over the hearse on its journey to Windsor; it arrived in the Queen’s home scattered with flowers on roof and bonnet like Botticelli’s “Flora”.   As a seed, a plant, a sacred tree, it was lowered through sacred space into the Vault; into the ground.

Winter, after BotticelliWinter – after Botticelli

I was reminded often yesterday of the Rosicrucean Vault (in my alchemy studies), a sacred Tomb (in the divine proportion 5:8) where lies the body of “RC” (the founder of Rose Cross) since medieval times: a sprout.   I see it now within earth; and the Key to open it in the heart.   It is an old fashioned copper key:  it is traditionally a White Rose.  The Queen was lowered into it, without the Crown jewels … which gleam in their lustre on the altar, waiting to anoint her son.

white rosebud

For every family this funeral awakes a memory of a departed loved one. When my father died in 2016 I happened to be recreating and constructing the Rosicrucean Vault within my inner life;  it was provided by timely grace, for into it we lowered him in that bird-singing Devon yard: a grave without lining, a basket coffin, a soul without clothes – and we had the bagpipes for him as well!   followed by a sandwich feast in the village hall – I hear his merry laughter.   His release was a joyous winter gale in the sky and in the ground the snowdrops of early spring.   

My mother wishes he’d been there to enjoy the party and the precision how we cared and planted him in the ground;  but he was, in every detail.


Finally –  a royal handshake from the elephant.

14 queen, prince, phillip, elephant copy





ox eye daisy

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. See also Aquariel and Gene Keys Diary.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2022. 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

Sketches of Pallas Athene


athene's owl



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.



The painting by Sandro Botticelli



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



… to mend my dolls.



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



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



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



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.


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


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.


Centaur and Athene after Botticelli – drawn with left hand


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.



Aphrodite comes ashore with shadow.



Hear the sea.  Walk in the sand.





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

Resurrect the Star


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

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

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

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

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


tarot philosophes 7.1.17

Sextet arrangement: tarot philosophus 7.1.17


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

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


Lighthouse by Simon, circa 1965

Lighthouse by my brother Simon, circa 1965


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

click on image to view


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



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





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



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


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



Child and Grandmother, 2016


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

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


Netzach, Hod, Temperance on the Tree

Netzach, Hod, Temperance on the Tree


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

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

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


Elisa & Mary in Iona - 2016

Elisa & Mary in Iona – 2016






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


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.

aquariel link

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

Arcanum Seven – Shabat Shalom Baruch





paul mandala 17.11.13. detail

This post waited in my Drafts for some considerable time!  I was kept busy with my book of the Tarot Arcana (from which this writing arose), and with finding out, and with living. Now I recall the place of rest: shabat shalom … and baruch, the blessing.

Our dear old friend Issy Benjamin “left the market place on Sunday evening 25 October, and has gone home. Heaven is home and earth is the marketplace. We are in constant passage between the two (African proverb).”  He was nearly ninety.

The Star, the Cross and the Crescent!  (See the vimeo above).  Develop in the inner and outer life the golden seed – each of the middle eastern prototypes holds my deep affiliation, life-effort and love.  As agonizing as the conflict at present is, so shall it one day flower and unite humankind.

star cross crescent


Script of altar, bird, torch in the Trinosofia, meaning 'the body of the wise man shall be concealed'

Script of altar, bird, torch in the Trinosofia, meaning ‘the body of the wise man shall be concealed’

Great love embraces the tall white hall of Issy’s shul, where I went for sabat shalom. Hidden behind an angle there was a skylight, and this reminded me of a dream I once had, in which were windows cut through the ceiling to Adonai – in the shapes of the Hebrew letters – through them you may talk to god without intervention or interference or screen of speech.  Why?  Because those apertures from above and below are cut through stone, the shape of the language and its covenant.  Nothing else but the Law, the cosmic Torah, can be spoken or heard through them.  And so it is with all languages through which God spoke – Arabic, Persian, Phoenician, Egyptian, Sanskrit – our origin.

Always go from where you are right now, because access to the sacred architecture is a given;  it is not seen all at once, it grows on you as soon as you surrender your nature to the joy of the gift.

When a soul literally sheds the physical embodiment, he or she is present in any time and space right now, to tune in with.

islamic patterns 1 :Keith Critchlow

Hexagram, from Keith Critchlow’s ‘Islamic Patterns’

When the centre is open, the six directions through my core are simultaneous.  Turning to face them, is something I should remember and not forget during the day. The KABOD, the glory of God has this private stealth, and may be rediscovered at any moment. The expression ‘The chosen people’ may derive from what we choose to meet each other with – the scroll we unroll and open to each other in the eager reading of the Book.  It derives from ‘choosing’ to connect with Issy and with other souls now beyond the box of naming, yet vital in their essence.  There is an intimacy of the emerald table – as above, so it grows below:  the currency ascends through the descent.

I feel and endure the descent, but later on like yeast it rises and leavens the loaf, spreading it far and wide.

Diagram, cube, weathercock

My solar atom is a weathercock – a cube of space;  the six directions N E W S and up and down;  the holy hexagon, the cube of Solomon, a metaphysical spatial reality.  As soon as I am aware of it, I know my purpose, and gently it flows into concentric raindrop circlings of humankind:  I know it and I become still.   I become still not with my intention which is a confused and muddy pool, but as soon as I am aware of the grace flowing in and out.  Then I am in my natural shul.

paul mandala 2015 - detail

I was picturing Issy there, in his usual seat, with his white shawl wrapped around him, and his sparkling joyous gravity.  I feel he was an architect in the medieval flowering of sacred geometry and alchemical science, when Jewish and Islamic sages worked together. When – like him – we are called back into the Scroll, we are all the names that were ever given us on earth – and so we have no particular one, we are nameless!

Issy B




When I ask where and what is God, and love of God, God happens when a tabernacle opens.  When Yeshua stood with his friends on the mountain, their tabernacles opened to each other, and they KNEW.  The place of rest is the crystal receiving-set through which the Greater Mystery pulses.  In the silence the sages come to life:  the holy mountain.


Arcanum 7 The Chariot

1 magus - Version 3

In the Tarot, Key Seven awakens this knowledge and response.  It fields and fences the Magician’s ‘house’ or BEIT with CHETH the enclosure.  It takes a while to tap the portal;  but this morning again it stood open – it flows through here.

The Seventh Arcanum rests within the sense of expansion.  It is a seven pointed star.  The Seventh Arcanum reminds me now that each Tarot Key is a holy transmission, a contemplative and living silence.  The enigmatic image releases a quantum of shabat shalom baruch:  a commitment.  The prayer does not repeat;  it is new born.

For Issy:  Go Well!


Seven Branch Star

How to make a seven point star – with the 51-degree angle in the Druid’s Cord





jacobs ladder

Jacobs Ladder – the Four Worlds, Aziluth (Divine), Beriah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formative and Psyche) and Assiyah (Material world)

More Sketches of Beethoven

Beethoven and ... Rostropovich?  I found this forgotten early drawing from the 1970s, while searching for the two which I have lost.  I used to find it 'easier' to draw him than I do now!

Beethoven and … Rostropovich? (circa 1972).  I found this forgotten early drawing from the 1970s, while searching for the two which I have lost. I used to find it ‘easier’ to draw him than I do now! I love listening to the Beethoven cello sonatas.


Continuing this “Beethoven series” inspired by Elene’s researches :  this post includes some journaling over the weekend, and portraits of the master by others, and from my new sketches.

First: a detail from my “watershed” series of dreams during the 1970s:

September 1976 – from “Paris and the Hollow Way”
(Watershed Tales)

“Smelling the flowers which grow around the end of Boulevard Malesherbes, I see the bright food in the brasseries, the Gaulish striped canopies over smoked glass. Avenues which radiate from this place are planted tree-deep with bouquets gathered this morning from the tart grass; the dew is still upon them – the waters of a river, where the pit of the railway once was

“And yet this place in Paris has mile upon mile of shattered streets and dirty weathered brick.  The sorrow moves me, through field upon field of unhoused space, like Liverpool after the war.  As far as I see, no man lives here.  It moves me in strange ways.  I discussed these ways with the old hoardings of scarred planks and corrugated iron which give and take along the road. What tragedian devastated this land?

“No man,” they replied.  No man is an island.  But they live and speak.  Their answer is in nomadic ways, in syllables of philosophy I cannot recall.  They are my notice boards, my inner adversities that talk.

“So I came at last to an arrangement with Beethoven, of whom I was very fond.  I found him in a room without much light, and a musty smell … maybe a Viennese cellar during Napoleon’s bombardment?  I agreed to draw a portrait for him of his daughter.  She’s a small child, and her facial features are very dark.  For hours I toiled with each line and contour.  I saw Beethoven’s light within her, her soul so clear where she sat, but I couldn’t get it right.  The expression of her mouth and eyes, came into me, but I couldn’t connect.  I hesitated. I erased and drew, and erased again and drew.  The difficulty stared me in the face like having to learn all over again to walk, and made me cringe with pain.  I struggled to achieve at length an approximation:  my facility is lost, and I forgot the way.  There are no short cuts I can take.”


The young child Beethoven?
portrait by an unknown artist, discovered in 1972
and … how might he have looked?


I was reminded of this, because I had rather a struggle to draw Beethoven over the weekend.  I lost two early sketches of him which I like – maybe I gave them away – so I tried to reconstruct them.  The creative process doesn’t always flow.  Beethoven often had titanic difficulty with his compositions, scribbling and shouting and scratching out and searching for what he heard in the rain and the trees, from God.

Beethoven on a walk ... Pastorale

Beethoven on a walk … Pastorale



Journal 24 July – Beethoven and Vera
He really is around … two new followers to my blog, who write about him and about pianos – did they come in through Vera Moore?

On Emily’s piano yesterday however, the three or four out-of-tune keys were very noticeable, and I couldn’t ride it well;  it was evening after a long tiring day.  When I played, the flowing faculty wasn’t there, and I stumbled along the up-down action.  I rang the tuner:  he said it could be tuned again in two or three months, but if it gets unbearable he will come and see what he can do.  One small consolation:  my own piano – a Spencer upright – is easier!

Strings and hammers - detail from a larger painting

Strings and hammers – detail from a larger painting

It was a revelation for me the day before, that to play Beethoven we must meditate with love: that is, to wait and let him enter.  He reaches the soul universally and constantly regenerates and sprouts runners along the higher astral ground – a hardy perennial.  The perennial is love – the humanitarian love which strove and strode nobly with his wrecked health and domestic furies.

I need to tune into that love, spontaneously or deliberately, to play him at all.  I have to walk with him and feel the rain, meditate and imagine the wild wind in the trees I see, and the noble themes it whispers onto a sodden notebook page.  The love and the divine beauty had to force a way through discordant tinnitus.

Beethoven walk: by Julius Schmid

Beethoven walk: by Julius Schmid

This must have made the silent sound of the outer world unbearably alluring – to see the movement and feel the wet rain.  On his walks the nature devas counselled him: he sang and scribbled and “raved”.  To rave is to be ravished in the elements.  People who knew him recorded the way his face opened into a raptus.  The raptus of old Beethoven fought the daily cacophonies inside his ears, and strode the serene paradox of the late quartets and the Opus 111 Arietta.

I did long ago, a small oil sketch of B walking in the grass hatless – can’t find it yet – did it get left behind at the red hedgehog?  Yesterday it was clear to me that my enormous labour of love at the red hedgehog in 2011 (a small and struggling concert venue), to clean and sand down and varnish the floors which were filthy, was for Beethoven.  I did it for the Peter Donohoe Beethoven series there – hook, line and sinker:  an esoteric assignment if you will.  If I hadn’t cleaned and brightened the floors, that wonderful Beethoven series might not have happened or touched earth there – a peak symbolic moment.  The sublime got through the chaos – the timeless touch spread fore and aft, and struck its Sound and Glory.

Klein, Franz / Micheli: Beethoven-Maske mit Lorbeerkranz, nach der Lebendmaske von Klein

Klein, Franz / Micheli: Beethoven-Maske mit Lorbeerkranz, nach der Lebendmaske von Klein


As I mentioned Vera Moore above, suddenly my world with her is here too.  She is with me.  She was my piano teacher in Paris in 1965:  her eternal Life in a rickety household, rather like Beethoven’s – but she lived till she was 90:  her strong caress of the keys, like wrapping a baby – her reverent joy – giving birth to her “son of Art” and bringing him up through the French Resistance and after the war:  her powerful and abrasive personality as a younger woman and single mother – I hear again the obstinate ripple of her voice.  It didn’t bother her if her old Gaveau was out of tune – she couldn’t afford the tuner.

Vera Moore when I knew her - this drawing from memory is from the early 1970s

Vera Moore when I knew her – this drawing from memory is from the early 1970s.  I can imagine her sitting with me, and what she might say about this note or that note, wrapping my fingers round it like a baby with a shawl … her way with poetic images and her LOVE … her instruction to play what I am learning, like a chorale, without any inhibitions – sing it inside, with the touch.

I read somewhere that Liszt could draw forth the heart and soul from an out-of-tune instrument and captivate his listeners.  There must be a way of using those odd sounds.

One of Vera’s students helped her to write a piano Method.  I don’t think I heard Vera play Beethoven, but when Beethoven’s window opens in my soul, I may be pretty sure she will come through it as well.  Her gift like his, is a delicate seed of power, grace, humour and peace, in a turbulent nest.

I think Vera taught her piano students the “horizontal” caress which holds and rolls along the white and black keys, and on rare occasions comes through me in a moment of delight (I soon fall off !).  I believe Liszt played like this, glancing sideways with seductive smile (“isn’t this amazing?”); and Paul Roes aims to reconstruct it in his “Music – the Mystery and the Reality“.

Vera Moore in the 1930s - from Winifred Nicolson's  painting of her

Vera Moore in the 1930s – from Winifred Nicolson’s painting of her.  Search ‘vera moore’ on this blog, for my two posts about her.

I do prefer old uneven character pianos to the mechanically-perfect electronic keyboards.  You can hear straight away, even through a high open window.


A sketch of Beethoven in his teens.  This one 'works' for me - and took just a few minutes.

A sketch of Beethoven in his teens. This one ‘works’ for me – and took just a few minutes.

silhouette of Beethoven at 16


Here is a timely message from a fellow blogger:

“Draw a circle
place inside of it
every aspect of your
human experience …
all emotions
all actions
all shame and guilt
all the things you would love to forget
and all that you hope
you will never forget.

“Make it a place where all of it fits.
Let them no longer be strangers
to one another.
Let them take off their shoes and stay a while
rub elbows
break bread
toast to one another’s health and long life.

“When everything that you have experienced
is located in one place
you are
‘One with Everything’.”

Charlie Morris wrote this poem … this morning, about everything in his life, the human texture, difficulty and joy, being in this one room unconditionally and inclusively, which is “God”.  It is not spiritual or unspiritual.

So Beethoven poured basins of water over his head to cool the fire of composition.  Now see and breathe interior peace in and as the room.  Nobody is alive without depending on something or someone for their well being.  No one goes it alone.  Look at what I depend on!  If my path with the Inner School was taken away, where would I be?


Gallery, working from Kloeber and Carolsfeld’s portraits
– click to view


I spent the rest of the day trying to draw Beethoven – three more efforts.  It is much more difficult for me than it used to be – and so is playing the piano.  I found my Robbins Landon book which has lots of pictures, and an interesting photoshop idea online, with B’s life mask.  I got very bogged down and stuck.

I also extracted from my 2011 journals, the gist of Peter Donohoe’s Beethoven series at the red hedgehog (zum roten igel in North London) – I might put it in my next post, with my sketches of PD’s master-class.  Then my energy was all gone.

Gallery – click to view



Beethoven kept this painting by Joseph Mahler on his wall throughout his many changes of lodging.  It must have been among his few possessions – apart from the thousands of pages of his notebooks – which survived.  He will have identified particularly with its heroic quality.  Another of his treasured paintings was the one of his grandfather.

I decided to ‘have a go’ with this one, but quickly found the pose too artificial and romantic to reproduce convincingly!  So I switched to the idea of him conducting from the keyboard – keep practicing !   Keep trying  …


Helen Ede in 1974, on my last visit to her.  She is knitting a sock for 'Old Bonesie', my grandfather.  Through the window you could see the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh

Helen Ede in 1974, on my last visit to her. She is knitting a sock for ‘Old Bonesie’, my grandfather. Through the window in Jordan Lane, you could see the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh

I hear the severe ecstasy of my grandmother, Helen Ede – her face and eagerness shaped somewhat like his. She used to play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata on her Bechstein … in whose dusky dark tones I explored his slow movements.  When her memory went, or she fell off a note, she would say ‘h’ai’ crossly.

We spoke together about the Arietta in his Opus 111 – after listening to her old record of Claudio Arrau playing it. Her face lit up: I cannot reproduce her voice, but she said something like this:

“… the long trills where the sun comes out.  You have in the beginning an austerity, and through the variation the austerity slowly relents, letting go of its own form, to melt and smile and dance.  You know that place where the dotted rhythm begins to go around, and around, to break it up – dissolving the form into light without ever quite losing it … ?  it falls open and time stops.  It seems to me that through that light, very gradually emerges again the variation.  The theme didn’t quite disappear, but is transcended and transfigured.  Then slowly the bar lines return, and the theme resumes.”

Beethoven in last quartets mode



Imagining old Beethoven in private, his deaf face, his pain transfigured, alone in that mess of a room, having just poured another bucket over himself … I hear in some of his piano music, the Dionysian cyclic mandala or mantra rhythm, like Dante’s cosmic rose, dissolving into light.


“Ochh Jane,” says my grandmother in her Scottish-German accent, “Oh what a sight to see.”


Claudio Arrau 1986: from the record sleeve of Opus 111

Claudio Arrau 1986: from the record sleeve of Opus 111





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

Human Landscape – Sketches of Beethoven


Beethoven at Zum Roten Igel

Beethoven at Zum Roten Igel

Last week, I got very excited about this link:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Young Beethoven, after Hornemann


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

Beethoven plays

Beethoven plays


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

beethoven violin


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

Beethoven by Franz Stvk


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

Beginning to play the Spring Sonata



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

beethoven on a walk

beethoven on a walk


Beethoven at work

Beethoven at work

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


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


Beethoen in later life

Beethoen in later life


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


Beethoven after the painting by F.Schimon

Beethoven after the painting by F.Schimon


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



And … within the cosmos of the late Quartets –

Beethoven in last quartets mode


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

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

piano action

piano action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2015. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

Mysteries of Isis 9 – the Hearth-Fire and the Sea

Mother Isis of the Moon, 2015

Mother Isis of the Moon, 2015


In esoteric work for the healing of nations, there are at least two main streams – the path of the Lineages and the path of the Hearth-fire. Through occult Lineage traditions, an octave of initiations is handed down to practitioners. This way of discipline and group work enjoys a living contact with the Inner Plane guides and their wisdom.

Dion Fortune in 1927

Dion Fortune in 1927

In the 1920s, Dion Fortune founded a Society of the Inner Light in Avalon, Glastonbury.  She became its trance medium (based on her training in psychoanalysis).  She also wrote novels and books on the theory of The Mystic Qabalah, and did astral-plane police work.

Among  core themes in her work, was regeneration of the natural spiritual and physical energy between men and women, which had become atrophied.  (“Dion Fortune and the Inner Light” – a biography by Gareth Knight)



Mudras - builders of Avalon 2003

Mudras – builders of Avalon 2003


Dion Fortune taught also the path of the Hearth-Fire. Reaching back to the Corn goddess and the human network in Gaia, mother Earth, the Hearth-Fire complements the path of the Lineages by bringing the divine essence into our daily life and practice – our relationships, our workplace, and the way we learn our parenting.

We may visualise – as if from an aeroplane at night – a pattern of sacred fires placed here and there on earth, where the Companions of the Light are gathered and keep watch.  We may approach and join them.  It is said that they are most numerous over the middle east where the need for them is acute.  They are gathered there in the darkness, the way  antibodies travel to a wound.  We need to gain a high altitude vision, to realise that because the issues show as yet no signs of resolution, that does not mean they never will.

We need to dive within.  For some of us, our job is to assist the Companions by facing our own shadow projections at home – as we journey in the soul law to the source – through Self-enquiry in psychology, philosophy, family life and feelings.  Time in the lap of the gods is not as our time;  it all must come up and out, becoming conscious.  Healing is the whole.

Here –  shortened to just the main images for meditation – is Dion Fortune’s invocation of Isis as she appeared to Wilfred and Molly at the end of “The Sea Priestess” (published by Society of the Inner Light):


hearth fire

hearth fire, salamanders


“Night by night, as the wood smoke rose from the Fire of Azrael, we built up the form of the Priest of the Moon in the drifting shadows till he was as real to us as we were to each other;  and though we knew his form was such stuff as dreams are made of, there came through that form, the touch of mind on mind, and that was the thing that counted … and so we felt the touch of mind on mind where no man was, and heard the words where no one spoke, for the thing came across the gulf on the wings of fantasy;  for fantasy is the ass that carries the ark, as they said in the ancient Mysteries.

“Now it is a very odd thing, that I, who could visualise the Priest of the Moon at will till he seemed to stand out like an image in a stereoscope, always felt him to be a shadow thrown by some other reality;  whereas Molly who couldn’t visualise him at all, was perfectly sure of his presence and actuality, and seemed to commune with him interiorly with as much certainty as if he were on the telephone.  He taught me and I learnt all manner of things from him about Atlantis and the ancient ways of Britain.  But he didn’t so much teach Molly as change her.

Through the Red Sea 

“… There was a sea fog that night that wrapped all round the narrow neck of land where stood the farm between the salt marsh and the tide water … only the sea remained open to us as an occasional shift of the drift of the wind opened long sea-lanes in the fog down which the moon shone, for she was low and near her setting.

“It was strange to see a sea-lane open thus, with the water all silver in the moonlight and the fog standing up in walls on either hand, like the cliffs of a phantom fiord.  It was such a sea path as this down which the oldest gods might travel, coming from the moon and that which is behind the moon – most ancient time and space when earth and moon were both etheric, not yet solidified into dense matter and not yet parted from one another.

“The tide was coming in.  I had begun to notice that with the rising tide Molly always seemed to wake up, unlike Morgan who came to her power when the tide was at uttermost ebb.  But then she was a sea-priestess, and Molly was a priestess of corn and hearth and garth, which is another aspect of the Great Goddess whom they both served after their different ways.




“… Presently the first shallow, spreading wash of a breaking wave ran up to the edge of the weed, and Molly put a match to her Fire of Azrael and we watched it take the flame, the dry and resinous woods rapidly turning into a pyramid of fire after their year long storage out at the fort.  The seaweed burned too, with an odd iodine smell that seemed to have the ancient essence of all sea-beaches embalmed in it, and I thought of the far-travelled mariners with their gold ear-rings and curled beards, who had drawn their highbrowed sea-ships up on Ishtar’s Beere.

“Then the cold drifting-draught that is in every fog opened a sea-lane that led right out to the moon, and we saw the slow heave of the sea running all black and shadowy as the tide made up-channel.  But even as we watched, the sea felt the call of the moon, and the water became flickering silver as the turn of the tide broke the rhythm of the waves, and we watched the water that had come far up the land turn again to the great deep.  The waves had respected Molly’s fire, and just lipped it and made it hiss before they turned again, sinking slowly back, leaving a belt of wet sand and fresh weed to mark their path.

“Molly raised her arms in the sign of the horns of the moon, and invoked the Great Goddess as I had seen Morgan do.  The moon was low in the west towards her setting, and at Molly’s feet was the red-lit Fire of Azrael, and beyond it the silver pathway stretched out over the sea toward lost Atlantis.  And it seemed to me that at her call came the gods of the past and their priests and worshippers, for she was waking the old worship once again.


cornwall 2011 429


… The moon sank lower;  the sea cut her disk and the mist of the sea banked about her in a golden nimbus.  Then Something seemed to formulate in the darkness and come over the sea towards us through the mist, moving by the pathway of silver light upon the water; and it was vast, so that Its head met the stars, and It was all veiled and swathed and shrouded.  Only we saw the silver Feet upon the sea, and they were like moonlight over water.

“And so She came, She of the Sea, to the place where sea meets land, and we awaited Her coming.  She paused at the edge of the line of the breaking foam, Her feet and Her head among the stars, star-crowned.  There was no Face to see for She is forever veiled, but there came to us the great exalted awe which some say is the gods and none other.

“This tingling fear took me by the heart and by the throat and by the eyes, gripping like a hand.  And my hands began to burn and tingle with a pulsating force, and from behind my eyes it seemed to come out like a beam.  And I broke out in that heavy sweat of the heat of  the gods, which Morgan had told me always heralds their passing;  and my breath was taken short, but not with the asthma, and I grew rigid and shook like a man in a fever fit.  I looked towards Molly, and saw that she stood on tiptoe, reaching up towards her Goddess as if floating between earth and air like a frozen figure of dance, immobile, tense and effortless.

“Then slowly Great Isis turned, and drew Her veil closer about Her, and She went down the long sea-lane out towards the west, the fog closing in behind Her.

“The sea drew back with the falling tide and bared the place of Her passing, and on the sand we saw silvery pools that might have been the marks of eddies, but that we knew were Her footprints.  And so She passed away as silently as She had come, but the place where She passed was holy, being filled with power.  Something had touched our souls to awe, and we chose to call it the passing of the Goddess.”


Harbour, 1987

Harbour, 1987





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





Mysteries of Isis, part 8 – the Wholeness of Osiris

osiris isis

This  post continues the previous ones about Isis – to remind myself Who she is.  The next  post will conclude this series with Dion Fortune’s invocation of Isis as “the Sea Priestess”.

To label an aggressive militant virus loosely as “isis” is a misnomer, unconsciously perverting and undermining our human-ness and capacity to heal.  The women and girls are attacked, stoned, tortured or infected in that mindset, which mindlessly destroys ancient sacred places.

Our genetic vitality as men and women, stems from the archetypal wisdoms and mythologies of the ancient world.  Isis is – at our thoughtless peril – trampled, forgotten or abused. In the mirror of every culture, she  is what we truly are, the light and the shadow.  As the goddess of the Moon she rules the tides of our psychology;  as Gaia she is our Earth.

What can we do?

Recognise the daily corporate hypnosis under which we lie, under which we dream as slaves, accepting belief – and wake up.  It is better to see and be aware of the venom than to step right into it.  The problem is not in other lands, politics or ideologies – it starts HERE, with what we care about.

Remember who we are.  Find and grow from our roots, and be an example to our children.  Let it spread.  No frozen society out there can do it.  I and you are in HERE – the open reality we create.  Individual awakenings send ripples far and wide, and change things.

Here is another chapter from my “Arcanum Two” (1991, 2011):


The sea near Tintagel

The sea near Tintagel


September 1991 – The Wholeness of Osiris: Precession of the Equinox:
What are the scattered pieces, the fragments of Osiris?   Typhon, the god of titanic entropy or disorder, slew and scattered fourteen parts of Osiris the Law-giver up and down the black land.   Isis wept over, gathered and conceived from them the child HORUS, of herself and her womb-brother Osiris.

Plutarch – an initiate – tells of Horus’s battle with Typhon to avenge his father:
“We are … told that among the great numbers who were continually deserting from Typho’s party was his concubine Thueris.   A serpent pursuing her as she was coming over to Horus, was slain by her soldiers.        The memory of this action, they say, is still preserved in the cord which is thrown into the midst of their assemblies and then chopped into pieces.

Afterwards it came to a battle between them which lasted many days.   But victory at length inclined to Horus, Typhon himself being taken prisoner.   Isis however, to whose custody Typhon was committed, was so far from putting him to death that she even loosed his bonds and set him free.   This action of his mother so extremely incensed Horus that he laid hands upon her and pulled off the ensign of royalty which she wore on her head.   Thoth(Hermes/mercurial) clapped onto Isis instead a helmet made in the shape of an ox’s head.

“After this, Typhon publicly accused Horus of bastardy.   But with the help of Thoth the legitimacy of Horus was fully established by the judgement of the gods themselves.   After this there were two other battles fought between them, in both of which Typhon had the worst.   Furthermore, Isis is said to have kept company with Osiris after his death, and in consequence to have brought forth Harpocrates, who came into the world before his time and lame in his lower limbs.”

Apollo 2002


In Plutarch’s account Horus was conceived before the fragmentation; he was conceived indeed in the mutual affection of Osiris and Isis as siblings in the womb of their mother before they were born.   And Horus became known to the Greeks as Apollo, the god or radiance of the Sun’s (physical) chariot.

What are those scattered fragments of Osiris?

When they are put back together he is brought to life.

Note this: he is brought to life, a life beyond the concept of beginning or ending with the fragments. Instantly it springs to being, and has always been.   It crosses the plane of fragmentary knowledge.

The fragments are perhaps the multiple and illusory costumes, lifetimes, of the body. The fragments are what remains of the Alexandrian Library – the wisdom of the ancient world. They arise among the disappearance of Self-knowledge into ignorance, into the pockets of spacetime called maya, or matter or “separate” incarnations.


arcanum 9, hermit

The initiate, entering the cave of “sleep” emerges as a bird from a tiny opening deep in the heart lotus. The pocket of space and time falls away. The chamber of all the worlds – the whole of the Great Pyramid – is open to his flight of seeing.   He awakens from the trap of time.

The wholeness of OSIRIS is a dimension of which the visible shapes of his body or any of his parts are only sections in time and space across it, apparently disparate.

Apollo 2002 - 2

The reality of OSIRIS is a Great Circle; like a “lunar” or “solar” orbit of human cycles of life on earth towards Reintegration.   It abides beyond and within the visible spheres.   The visible bodies in the night are only allegories.   Osiris and Isis are a Mystery Play of reflected light whose phases, on the Moon, seek unity.   I wonder if this relates to the Great Circle (25,800 years) or precession of the equinox around the ages of history … his story?

The combined action of solar and lunar gravity causes the polar axis of earth to ‘wobble’ or describe a slow dance around itself.   This exposes the terrestrial magnetic field to subtle changes in alignment with the constellations.   The turning of a mystic dervish expresses this.

The rhythmic cycles of our local perception or Universe, the times for plants to grow and for human beings to awaken dormant strata to the light, seem to be governed by Osiris and his sister Isis from a plane transcending that of the zodiac (the planetary/psychological frame of reference.)   Neither of them represents solely the Sun (gold) or the Moon (silver).   Their mystery dance describes their cyclic relationship.   Osiris, known as the Sun of the Dead, appears as the Sun’s light upon phases (death and resurrection) of the Moon, particularly as it waxes.   But he derives from ‘RA’ or ‘PTAH’ of a primordial LIGHT.

The rhythmic breath of Osiris and Isis governs the solar System as a whole.   Perhaps they are analogous to the galaxy or, more locally, to the nodes of intersecting planetary orbits, the petals of the Great rose.   They dwell outside the measure of planetary time, while remaining inside cosmos, the Divine Circle inscribed by Thoth within atoms and stars.   The name of their son HORUS means ‘Time’ and also the eye of the eagle.   The higher the eagle flies the smaller appears the space-time context, and the larger is the view around it.

cross & pyramid

From the raised apex of the Pyramid which is its centre, an edifice can be viewed.   The plane of the base has four sides; at the point ‘above’, where they meet, they are simultaneous.   This raised point is simultaneously the length, breadth and depth of the world around.   It is the stance of rectitude, of truth. The fourth dimension cancels opinion and division, because as there is no separation between things, there are no ‘things’ themselves.

Eye of Ra

The Eye of RA, the primordial SUN, is this hieroglyph for the eagle HORUS, the Oudja“The Right Eye of the Supreme Being is the Sun, and his Left Eye is the Moon.”

In the old stories the left eye of Horus, wounded by Typnon/Seth is repaired by Thoth.   Thoth, Master of writing, of sciences and of time, has again and again to separate the two combatents, gather together the fragments of the hurt Eye and heal them into a unity greater than the sum of their parts.

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes states:
“Thou shalt separate earth from fire, the subtle from the gross,
with prudence, understanding and modesty.
The Great Action rises up from the earth to the heavens
and returns again to the earth,
taking into itself the power of the Above and the Below.
Thus you will obtain the glory of the Whole world.

In the organism of the whole, the left eye has all the adventures for it receives, it is YIN; and the right eye performs the synthesis for it gives, it is YANG.   Healers know intuitively that the ‘energy’ which cures fractions of the body and soul in mass, utilizes a ‘higher power’ of light beyond the small area of their differences.   Isis and Osiris are a profound and esoteric resonance of the solar and lunar pulse in nature; their mutually embracing TAO.

Creation etc


The Great Circle and the Egg
In working with ISIS, the priestess of the Second arcanum, I feel like a ‘broken’ circle, which desires completion into a circuit.  Electrically the current propels this urge over a vaccuum to return to itself.   The divine Circle fell from the edgeless sphere into the elliptical distortion of a mental universe which oscillates between two poles.

This happens when the conjecturing mind pushes harder and harder at its own frontier.   It constructs hypotheses, wanting everything to “fit” and falls exhausted and dead into flat paper.   “So What?”   What is the good of writing symphonies about silence, if there is no silence here, if waves of irritation immediately arise when the telephone doesn’t work, when the water mains is turned off, when gadgets are all-important, when fatigue snaps?

The orbital rhythms of the planets are egg shaped.   Within them shines the perfect golden sphere of their birth, our yearning for them to be simply that.   They move around the Sun, carrying interior Suns.   Every feature of the visible universe is a dance of assymetry towards that unchanging ideal.   Within my door of perception, this moves and changes and becomes the creation of matter and time.   Re-cognition of ‘TWO’ catalyzes a movement towards ‘ONE’ which is ‘THREE’.   The flow of current, its friction into photons or ‘particle-waves’ of light, sets up the paradox of ‘movement’ with ‘not-movement’; a relativity.

Osiris and Thoth

In these explorations, I am driven by beauty. The aesthetic sense has its own limitations, because it wants to make things conform to it. The mind builds castles, and becomes over taxed. The truth, being beauty, has no expectation.   It is better to keep quiet, and to trust that truth is beauty, and needs no grandiose support or justification.   In the absence of these, I become still.

mid wales 4

When recognised, the testament to human beauty – a Bach cello suite, a Botticelli angel, the wind, the sea, the birds, the high pre-Cambrian moorland of mid Wales, and the colours of earth, water and autumn leaves – awakens again in its natural element.   With a scented rose in the garden, who needs to construct one in the firmament, out of sight?   And yet … those ones, those mansions in the subconscious, are special cultivations, seeds of wisdom. They bloom there undying … the garden for everyman to find.

Letter Gimel - wheatsheaf

Letter Gimel – wheatsheaf

small beit

The letters BEIT and GIMEL  echo but are not quite the same as the Firmament which is silence.

mid wales 2

*  *

Gimel – and Into the Street
Going out now, late evening, into the street for groceries, I find – though very tired – an intense awareness of the field of space between me and each other person I see along the crowded pavement outside Waitrose.   The world is differentiated.   My eyesight retreats to within my spine. between the wings, and shows to me each person, each object, with clarity and without comment.  Even the existence of my uppity ego has clarity, without comment.

If I hope to travel into being ‘Not Two’, it makes good sense to know what the condition of ‘Two’ really is.   How can this be done without becoming lovingly interested in it?   How much of life is spent bundling along and totally unaware even of duality and separate objects and the space between us?   Those separate beings, mobile screens of history and inner-life, are comets who trail their births behind them, the invisible tale growing endlessly longer. They register within me with a sensation now of … something like hard diamonds.   Each one is this hard and shiny rock of light… like being a jeweller.   Who cut the first diamond?

Who cast the first stone?

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at her,” said Jesus scribbling vaguely on the ground when the elders all crowded indignantly round the repentant prostitute and asked what to do.

When I am out in the street like this, words, poems, riddles, fragments of koans come, to be stopped and written down.   They are traces, incomplete, of little fish sliding away, they are mischievous mercurial promptings, of the mind that will not rest.   They are like the voice which delivers an enigma between waking and sleep. It sounds like a perfect capsule for unremembered truth.

I did much free-wheeling with these promptings, for years encouraging and writing them down. They lead to my oracle, the inner ruler.   But if I become too enamoured of them, they no longer guide but exhaust me – the froth and foam, but not the water of life itself.

Mental metal-fatigue is a painful exercise.   What poetic fancies about Osiris and Isis can reach me here?   They seem now to be only a way to pass the time, with a risk of redundancy. They seem to be effluents of arrogant cardinals in the church.   What of my limited aesthetic of circles beyond the circles in the invisible sky, right now, when the birds have flown?   What on earth do I know about it?   They were pictures only in my mind, and now I cannot read.   Creative artists are bored children.

I feel it is up to each of us as we individuate, to discover mythology and follow it upstream in a way which is unique and meaningful.  The paths on a mountain are of infinite variety and relationship;  they connect and lead towards the peak which dissolves them all.

It is natural to be tired, and to let Isis, the oceanic subconscious, sink back into the tide:  to breathe in and out;  to sleep and wake.


quantock trees

quantock trees

At home I read in a little book by Sundaresa Iyer:
“I am the Present ever present, so I am not newly discovered or obtained.   Only I have no delusion about myself.   I am unborn so death cannot affect me.   For me death does not mean the loss of a body, whether gross, subtle or causal.   To me death means only identifying the Self with the non-self.   This is intoxication, and this intoxication is Death.   So has Sri Ramana Maharshi taught.

“ … caught and drew his normal consciousness deeper and deeper inward into that in which nothing but Itself is seen or heard or known, in which there is not the shining of the sun, the moon or the stars, but which is all these and fullness Itself.

“Abidance in the Void is firmness.”

Ramana - my earliest complete sketch of him

Ramana – my earliest complete sketch of him


The Mother of God
I have one more small point to investigate in the interest of these Horns of Isis. My diversions into malleable symbolic history are as satisfying as writing poetry.   As follows:

Hermes Trismegistus in Virgin of the World declares that:   “Over the earth and sea he reigns who nourishes all mortal creatures, the plants and fruitbearing trees and whose name is Zeus Serapis.”   This is Jupiter. This deity symbolises expansion and grace. In the psychological Tree of Life, Hesed is represented by Jupiter.

Tao Tree of Life 17 3 93


I want to look briefly into the idea of the Apis bull, for I read in a scholarly book by the keeper of Egyptian antiquities at the British Museum, that the name “Serapis” is derived from Osiris-Apis.   Apis is a symbol of power and fertility, associated with the god PTAH. PTAH is the expression of primaeval creative power in the cycle of Osiris. Serapis was a Ptolomeic deity who acted as a bridge from Egyptian mystery to Greek philosophy.   He was a benign bearded and Jovian character, with a great interest in death and funerary ceremonial.

the mrs bs, bull & snake

The qualities of primaeval power and fertility were manifest in a bull calf born with special markings in Memphis.   He was kept in the Temple, venerated throughout his life as the apis bull and finally buried with royal pomp and splendour.   From the earth he came, took into himself the divinity of sky and was ploughed with it, back into earth. (“The Great Action rises up from the earth to the heavens and returns again to the earth, taking into itself the power of the Above and the Below”) The pharoahs would bow to this bull as a Great King – the archetype of their virile grace and favour.   “He nourishes all mortal creatures, the plants and fruit-bearing trees.”   He has the forces of growth.

The holy bull must be born of a mother, the sacred cow or Mother of Apis.   She was identified with Isis, as “Hathor”.  The burials in due season of these bulls of God with big throats and long pointed horns, and of their mothers, are very festive occasions.   When the full moon sets below the western horizon, the sun is rising in glory in the east.   And after the sun himself has set, the full moon is rising high and looking for her lord.

Two horns on the head of Isis are creation’s curve, the binary of two poles which carry the current.

taurus glyph copy

To Conclude:
In astrology, the moon is exalted – meaning that its power to respond is at its most benevolent and enduring – when it is travelling through the sign of “fixed earth” – TAURUS the Bull.

Tarot’s Hierophant – the High Priest, Arcanum 5 – is assigned to TAURUS, and the 6th letter, the VAV, meaning “hook” or “that which joins”.   Taurus governs the throat and ears – the faulty of inner hearing or intuition.


Like a happy assonance for a poem, is the blend of Arcanum 2’s High Priestess, whose symbol is the Moon, with the power and fertility of the bull.   When the sun is in Taurus, leaves have burst their buds, the baby birds are hatched and hungry, and spring is in full flower.   Those born with the moon in Taurus often have intuitive “green fingers”.   There is a consistency in their sense of touch with “the plants and fruitbearing trees” in the garden by day or the tao by night.   They love nature and are strong and imaginative workers in their field.   They have the power of concentration.


concentric sefiroth with seal of solomon



So it is by way of thanksgiving to this exploration and enquiry with Isis, that I discover her to be beautifully earthed, and let her rest.   The Taurean glyph – the circle surmounted by a crescent — gives this work its cadence.


bull bird copy





30 I Ching Earth-receptive 2 & Gimel

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

Why does Isis have Horns?


Arcanum 2 priestess

Part 7 in the ‘Mysteries of Isis’ –
Some early writings on Isis, from my “Arcanum Two”: 

25 September 1991 – The symbol for Taurus the Bull, ruled by Venus, is a circle crowned with a crescent – a pair of horns.  Why the horns? To explore this question is fruitful.

How does it feel?   The horns have sharp points.   They are a heavy head-dress. They give majesty to the Full Moon, and define the New Moon.   They are a garment of authority and they inspire fear. The horns of the Bull are antennae of the earth’s fecundity and riches.   To encounter suddenly in my life a blindfold soothsayer or white witch, crowned with archaic and savage horns and sitting so still, is startling.

taurus glyph

The horns are there to drive away or impale unwary or merely inquisitive trespassers into her subtle magnetic field. They make a repellant aura around her: a defense system.  The priestess is in myself.   What am I guarding?   What am I protecting?   Whom do I attack?

To look inward, into the well of God within atoms, is to create a surrounding “field” of space which reinterprets my material body.   As “I” collapse inward – like into a black hole – this field extends outward in all directions from the singularity.   It is the veil of the inner sanctuary.   In all the old legends the dragon or serpent is coiled around the golden fleece.   The hero must, in stepping over or neutralising the dragon, confront the storms around his own Cape Horn, and master the creative daemons that arise from his “unconscious” seeking consciousness.   His chaos must transmute to kosmos — the Greek word for harmony.   Only then, when the tumult dawns transformed in his being, might he behold the light of the golden fleece, by the gentle light of Isis – her moonbeam.

solis luna conjunctio

The hero in all these tales is the alchemist, and the adventure is trans-formation.   Tentatively I suggest that the lady Isis in her pure state, together with Thrice Great Hermes who flows and makes speech with metals, is the catalyst of this transformative process.   But I speak now personally …. I suppose I speak from many lifetimes.   They are all only this one.  For instance:  I sit down each day here to write, and I do not know what it will be, and the content may flow or not as the case may be, but I am almost invariably astonished.

pentacle 3,7,12 the mother letters


In the classic The Golden Ass, Lucius Apuleius gives an allegorical account of his initiation.   Transformed into a donkey he had to suffer and witness the depth of human iniquity, and be beaten and abused by his inner discordancy, before the lady Isis rising from the midnight sea offered him the key to his release into human form   … he must eat the rose carried by the Great Hierophant during the procession the following day, of her Mysteries. In the vision of Apuleius, as she rose from the dark sea to instruct his still asinine form:

Her long thick hair fell in tapering ringlets on her lovely neck and was crowned with an intricate chaplet in which was woven every kind of flower.   Just above her brow shone a round disk, like a mirror or like the bright face of the moon, which told me who she was.   Vipers rising from the lefthand and righthand partings of her hair supported this disk, with ears of corn bristling beside them.   Her many coloured robe was of finest linen; part was glistening white, part crocus-yellow, part glowing red, and along the entire hem a woven bordure of flowers and fruit clung and swayed to the breeze.

“But what caught and held my eye more than anything else was the deep black lustre of her mantle.   She wore it slung across her body from the right hip to the left shoulden where it was caught in a knot resembling the boss of a shield;   but part of it hung in innumerable folds, the tasselled fringe quivered.   It was embroidered with glittering stars on the hem and everywhere else, and in the middle beamed a full and fiery Moon.”

Apuleius The Golden Ass

Her mantle of night is that of the visible universe, the stars and the spaces between.   The snakes that support her disk, besides echoing the pair of horns, suggest the caduceus of Hermes:


Two serpents, the positive and negative polarity, entwine a staff of authority or directed power, and are held in equilibrium.   The equilibrium forms the circle of her disk.

The ears of corn in Apuleius’s description, remind me of Ceres.   Ceres is the ripe standing wheat of the earth, and the mother of Persephone who married the dark Underworld.   “Hades”, king of the Underworld, is derived from the Greek eidein, to see.

“The centre, the depths of this sphere (of the universe) is named Hades the invisible, because the centre of a sphere cannot be seen from without.   It appears visible only by means of those special forms whose images appear graven upon it, it shows itself only in effigy;   but in reality it is always invisible in itself.”

Trismegistus, The Virgin of the World

bull bird


Ears of corn, or wheat, are the vessels of that sprouting grain of the inner world.   They are the visible allegory which is “graven upon its surface”.  I, dreaming twice in the last few nights about taking earplugs out, am perhaps being advised to hear; to be here, listen and hear.   For this is the way the priestess receives information … silently into the oracle or shell of her ears.   The oracle, coracle, is a celtic craft on the waters. The waters dance and play with reflections from the sky in crescents of light like fallen leaves or “boats of mine a-floating … Where will all come home?”[1]

She has her eyes closed because the instruction is to be still and hear, to be not taken in by the deception, the flickering screem of sensory sight.   To hear the unruffled depth of the settling water is to be the quietness of the water itself.

I drew the ears of earth (that is Ceres) with wheat growing in them, like little masts in a walnutshell boat.

Ceres & John 1987


Burial and Hermetic Initiation – the Grain Sprouts
To be the awareness of the ears is to extend and receive the lateral sense of consciousness; the Capitols of the two pillars.   I am what rests between them, that which is, as it is.

From that alone comes forth what is relevant to the time.  Silence must receive its own information, before delivering it. Thus is truth.  Open the ears, the arms, of my Soul.  These horns are the ears or antennae of some creature of the deep.

The horns of Isis are the sense organ through which she receives the waves.   This is her focus of divination.   Between the horns is held, or hung, the equilibrated breath of her magnetic field.

tarot priestess 2003

*  *

In the Masons’ craft, there is a ceremony of passing, from being an entered apprentice to receiving the degree of fellowcraft.   This represents work on the soul, or ability to listen, in the Middle Chamber.   The candidate must bear in time and maturity the fruit of his own work.   So upon acceptance he is given an ear of corn.

In this gesture there is a profound mystery, which lies in the ancient body of Egypt.   Isis is the dark earth or body receiving the golden grain of Osiris in the flood of the Nile river which spreads it to all parts of the black land.[2]. . When the waters ebb the grain sprouts.   This is the Child who is also the Father.   The land of upper, middle and lower Egypt was, in ancient times the head, thorax and abdomen of the subtle body.   These are parts of the embodied fragment of God which lay beneath heaven.

Like the lower arm of the letter BEIT, this fragment – like all the “fragments of hermetica” that survived the destroyed Alexandrian library – echoes but is not quite the same as the Firmament.   But from within the fragment (the rock, the tomb of forgotten awareness) can be resurrected the light of Osiris.  I am reminded of Thomas Browne again: We are somewhat more than ourselves in Sleep, and the Slumber of the Body seems to be but the Waking of the Soul.

Alchemist in Notre Dame - after Fulcanelli


It seems that in most cases the slumber or apparent death of the body, (death of the world-orientation) was a pre-requisite to resurrecting the consciousness – the Spirit – outside and encircling the spacetime continuum.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead was written to guide those who, plunged by subtle arts into profound physical sleep, awoke to behold the Holy One.   The weighing of the Soul and all that followed, was not the sole prerogative of those who had reached the end of their earthly span.   Some who passed through the gates or pillars of “death”, returned re-born in the light of the Sun to bear witness (and keep the secret).   This idea was explored in some of Paul Brunton’s meditations in his Search in Secret Egypt.

The Sacred Books of Hermes are a collection of fragments and discourses written down in Alexandria just before or after the time of Christ.   In them seems to be reflected the essential wisdom of Thoth. Thoth is the ancient secretary to the gods. He has the head of an Ibis bird, and carries his pad and pencil.   The hieroglyph for AKH – Light, or the scribing of a light that pre-exists Creation – is in the form of an Ibis.   The crest and plumage of this bird is dark green and shot through with glittering metallic specks of light.   The root of AKH is Spirit, to shine, to irradiate.   The curve of the Ibis’s neck is like the uraeus or cobra, worn by Pharaoh as his “third eye” or pineal body*.  And it is not altogether unlike the neck of a swan.

swan beis


The letter BEIT is a “neck” or channel of the current of speech.   Yes!   Speech is Hermes.   The neck through which the silvery river flows, is the lady Isis.   Isis and Hermes together are Thoth, the month of the harvest, the art of the priesthood. Isis’ womb-brother Osiris is then Self knowledge within the art, for he is the Sun.

Emerald table

The precious stone assigned to Hermes is emerald.   The Bible of spiritual alchemy “As above so below” was traditionally inscribed by him on the legendary Emerald Tablet which – says Eliphas Levi – contains all of Magic in a single page.  It was found by Alexander the Great in the depths of the Great Pyramid where priests in ancient times had concealed the tomb of Hermes.   In the time of the Romans the emperor Severus buried the Mysteries in Alexander’s tomb, and Diocletian destroyed all the books on alchemy.   Christianity dawned upon a devastated battlefield of esoteric knowledge, a burnt-out wound of the world, a Way swept clear.

*In this light, consider the ideas of modern physicists: “Light – the range of electro magnetic frequencies – precedes the the manifestation of luminous bodies. Radiant energy is held to be the basis of all things within the range of human perception.” (P.Foster Case).   The symbols and colours which picture the ancient-world mysteries are tools equivalent to the equations used in our day.

These inscriptions, burials and tombs are direct reference to language, its events and its veils. The esoteric language had to be veiled from temporal powers who would exploit or destroy it: yet perennially accessible to ‘those who knew’.

I feel the Hermetic cosmology – which has been handed down as an oral tradition, like the Kabbalah – has a Vedic antiquity.   There were originally four Sacred Books of Hermes.   These were subdivided into forty-two volumes, the same number as those of the Vedas which were carried from India into Egypt by the Yadava emigration (cf. Mrs Child: The Progress of Religious Ideas, 19th century). There are innumerable stories and conjectural confluences of this kind, behind the shadows we see on the wall.


priestess 88


But, more importantly, the Egyptian doctrine of initiation, that the Eye of God opens in the most profound “sleep” of the organic and astral body, corresponds to advaita or “Not Two” of the elder East and of Gautama. Ramana Maharshi said the SELF of God awakens in the Fourth state of consciousness – that of deepest physical “sleep” … and is always awake. The other three states of consciousness are: the physical world, dreaming, and normal sleep.   All three conform to the conditioned self-world view, a horizontal play on surfaces.   Awareness in the Fourth state alone is unchanging and infinite.

Awareness in the Fourth state intersects the worldview everywhere at each point vertically.   The worldviews of the three other states are sections across it, and thus illusory.   Our worldview has the measure (or maya) of rings of time across a living tree.   The presence of the Tree itself, its root, its many branches, the birds in the foliage, and seasonal colours and sound of the wind, is invisible to the cut surface spectrum.   To appreciate that a whole Tree exists NOW, above and below the surface, requires a radical leap in the inner life which till then was occupied with one ring after another of historical time.



In both Western and Eastern traditions, pentacles and yantras combine the flat, diagrammatic plane of sacred geometry, with the vital dimension of which it is a talisman.   The solar system itself, apparently a disk of planetary orbits of time around the Sun, is a section across a living organism like a whole egg, or the petals of a rose without an outline … So it is also with the structure of the atom. Electrons around the nucleus are not things, or even points, but waves ensphering it.  Sages know this intuitively, which is why they say “All is well”; for they are That.   The human worldview, like music in the grooves of a flat disk, perceives what begins and ends, and must take the sage’s view on trust until the limited perception “dies”.

Nature is full of allegory:   the section across the tree: concentric ripples of sound, or over water: the vessel which rises from the potters’ wheel: the spiral of seasons and orbits.   The clean section across a tree is itself artificial, conforming to human tools. The faculty is specialised, and yet it still obeys the ripple form.

Awareness in the Fourth State alone unchanges. The disciple of life has no access to it through the normal senses, and so in its presence, he sleeps, he “dies”, it is night to him.

fool fence

In the ancient world, the physical catalepsy, through which the divine bird flew free of the mortal frame, is a conditional form of enlightenment.   Advaita teachings call it “nirvikalpa samadhi”: the bird flies free but then returns to ignorance.   The Sun is hid again in the night, and becomes a memory.   In unconditioned illumination, no catalepsy of the body is necessary.   The sage moves easily as air with his environment.   He or she is the SUN. In all their atoms, they are and know the source, as simply as the stars.

The idea is not the temporal histories and how they might all be filed together on the disk, but what the currencies of mysticism all have in common, free from time; for it is obvious that many rivers within one River flow … from the pregnant void of Source, to the ocean which is itSelf.   Here again, the human view is specialised, seeking in attainment, peace.

The inner Light has no past or future.   Maybe it is a musical chord of kalpas, ever present.


Bull near the Sea

July 2011

The foregoing was an exploration, turning up from the subconscious field, spontaneous references to ears, hearing and speech.   The title, Why Does Isis Have Horns? delivered to me, the Taurus symbol … in which the Moon (High Priestess) is exalted.   This means, that when the Moon is going through Taurus, the tidal fertile function is supreme, in nature and humanity.

The Moon’s actual ruling sign is Cancer – the sensitive shoreline, the rhythm of the tides, the breath and endochrine system.   When the Moon is in the Earth-sign Taurus, the tide deposits the fruits of earth on fertile ground.

Taurus’s planetary ruler is Venus – attraction, affinity, passion, the laws of gravity.   With reference to hearing and speech, Taurus is assigned to the faculty of hearing, and to the throat – which I was not aware of, at the time of writing.

So sea birds follow the plough – the upturned furrows of earth – to feast.


Seagulls and plough - woodcut by Tunnicliffe

Seagulls and plough – woodcut by Tunnicliffe


[1] A Child’s Garden of Verses, R.L.Stevenson
[2] Ancient name for Egypt: KEMET, meaning black land – Alchemy – the Raven’s Wing





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.

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