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):

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The sea near Tintagel

The sea near Tintagel

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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concentric sefiroth with seal of solomon

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Primrose_pin

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.

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bull bird copy

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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.

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Why does Isis have Horns?

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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

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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:

caduceus

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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.

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priestess 88

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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.

The way is : I AM THE TREE ITSELF. I AM ROOT AND SHOOT.

Om

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.

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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.

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Seagulls and plough - woodcut by Tunnicliffe

Seagulls and plough – woodcut by Tunnicliffe

 

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

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

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

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