“Aquariel” – the Goddess and Tao Trees of Life

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Savitri the Sun: world Shakti (ja 1990)

Inside any religious war is the old, old elephant story.

Extract from “The Alternative Elephant Tale” as told by John Tissandier:  “One day, a group of blind men on a journey came across something in their path.  The first man felt its tail and said, “I think we must be outside the gates of a palace.  I can feel the bell pull …”  “and here’s a fan!” said another, pulling an ear; “or is it a boatyard?” piped up one of the more independently minded, who had walked under and felt the belly.  And so they all worked themselves up with speculations.

Just then, mocking laughter was heard.  Another man arrived.  “You silly old coots!  There is no palace there.  You are standing by an elephant!” 

“What nonsense,” cried the blind men.  “We all investigated the matter and are in full agreement that this is a palace.”  “And anyway,” added one, “why should you know any better?”  “Because my eyes work, that’s why,” said the newcomer.  “I can see clearly.”  “It’s easy for you to say that,” said one of the blind men, “but why should we believe you?  You may be a liar … “

They were coming to blows, when a jnani arrived … and said politely, “What is going on?  I see no elephant, no palace.”

“What nonsense is this?” cried the blind men in dismay.   One of them said, “You see no elephant, no palace, no guards’ swords, bell pull, fan or boatyard.  Let’s find out what you see at the end of my boot.”  And with that, he took a swing in the direction of the jnani.


elephant tale

Resting … there is a solar mantra always – “Lord, thou art God”.   (I don’t mind if God is a lord or a lady.  It is immaterial;  the holy One is both, and all, and none, and more.)

Madonna & two brats, copy from Botticelli

David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) wrote a book called Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom goddesses – my favourite for dipping into.  He discusses imaginatively, each aspect of the Goddess:  her seer, her psychology, her energy field, her mantric vibration and her Yantra … and the interior images to worship her with.   Each goddess is an out-rush or in-dwelling of our nature.   So to illumine and celebrate each strand, is individuation – the discovery that each unique appearance in full flower is sustained in the One.

The Tantric wisdom goddesses flow in delta streams from the Goddess Tara

One of them is called Bagalamukha, the silence of speech.  The one after her, is Matangi, the beauty of speech.

1957, talking

fairy queen, 1957

Those Goddesses are … not enthroned deities, but speech, movement, expression and awareness.  They are the winds across the sky, which speak in the trees and through my soul by day and night.   The tide moves in and out.  Their “worship” – burning sweet savours – is to remember attention.  They are as real as my hands and feet.   Their silver currents play in the golden sun … of the sand-rippled river of Saraswathi.

Sacred India Tarot Saraswathi

Each day, when I remember, let me sketch the goddess in her wise and saucy ways;  her mood music here and now.

Anxiety ’87

How immediate and actual the Goddess is.   She isn’t some remote figure with a crown and attributes.  She is life.  She is right here – every vein and essence of her.

It must be wonderfully satisfying for a Yogi-man to know this, and to love her with each breath.  Such was Ganapati Muni.   He breathed her in, and out came his thousands of verses.

Ganapati Muni, giver of Mantras

Some persons have a special planetary quality.  They glide among us, enhancing life.  Their private troubles convert to rays of sunshine.

In a sit-still between sentences, I bask in the Mother-goddess’s arms, the wide and tender ways.

Mothers bathing brats, 1954

The warmth of the mother goddess’s arms includes my spiky vulnerabilities, my disturbed flesh and femininity, the way I climb and creep and feel naked without a cosmetic armoury… and make silly mistakes and say stupid things, and am marvellous.

Then it is marvellous for a male to be open enough and honest with himself, to know us, and be curious.

winter, after botticelli, 1956


Here comes Durga in The Sacred India Tarot.  You can just see her sixth hand gentling the Great pussycat.  Durga is the top-of-the-pops feminine deity in India.  She protects with ferocity – her arrow swings to the super-glitz asura, who raises his blank palm in the foreground. Together with the terrific tension of her weapon and focus, is the almost un-noticed pair of arms that rest calmly down her side and stroke the lion’s head.


Rohit Arya refers to her as “the gathered, manifest essence of the powers of all the gods … roaming the wilds of desert and forest at will, and being given a wide berth … the Maha Shakti restrains the lion with love, rather than flay him alive; yet she is remote, and accelerates spiritual evolution rather than play nice.” (my précis)

He interprets her as the ability to carry others along with the original and creative amalgam.  But problems arising have to be confronted immediately, and with the necessary force and displeasure.

DURGA is “Hail goddess, amalgam of all the elements, whose form is strength.   Her we worship.”  This implies also, how anger bursts out from the women of history who were locked away … like the pouncing lion, the breaking wave.  Standing still yet emanates the force.

aphrodite prince swords 1957


There is a skill, a secret in handling tiredness.  Try to tao within her symptomic parameter.  Then there is always room.  Force has no need to be applied with force.   Of course tired-heavy feels disagreeable and up against it, disabled and dispirited.  Don’t make her an enemy.  Adjust and live in her tide at present, going slow, don’t hurry.   This too shall pass.   I am depleted, to re-fill.  I am aging.  The Golden Dust flows on, whatever.  Upturn my face, white sunflower.

Galatea 1956

There is a meeting with fresh old strata in an upward way – a spiritual or energetic climb from a somerset level.   A mendip hill …

on Somerset levels ’95

I feel inspired by companions and deep seekers in the “aquariel” community.   I am not behind closed doors, and neither are they.

Now AQUARIEL is rather a good word!   It holds inner trigrams of aquarius – water, air and enquiry. “The High Priestess reigns with all heaven, and is served by all Hades.”  (Eliphas Levi).  Hades is the underworld, the store of images, akasha and old scores together.  It is our collective-subconscious memory.  Yesod, as the astral plane, stores our Hades … through whose fourth dimension (Daat in the Tree) the Priestess moves, to YCh’DH, Kether.

bound heroine 1957

centaur goddess1957

priestess 1957

There is an art in allowing with clarity, the mood music to be heard and seen:  the formations in the waters of mind and heart.  To see them is their savour.  When I speak before savouring, it is all over the place, muddied, ignorant and “not what I meant.”   Replace the art of noise with the art of poise.



Finally, here are three Tree of Life paintings –  the Tree embodying daily life and tides:


a Tao Tree of Life


Tree of Life Adam Qadmon


Tree of Life fountain breath




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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.