Beyond the Box

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Sarada Devi, the wife of Ramakrishna

“Put to good use, the powers of the astral plane, to reign with heaven.”

Reflect on “conscious participation”.  This is what an artist does, who generates “new” images and astral temples and landscapes.  (Nothing is new – just freshly reconstituted!) All the astral plane’s brilliant beauty and terror and muck is made up of what the human psyche has installed there and impressed to believe.   It is the realm of the embedded Imagination.

On a visit in a dream, when the landscape has that tell tale illumination, colour and clarity, it was travelled in by a soul, perhaps recently, perhaps repeatedly, perhaps in very ancient history.  It is something their life, their delight and their problem made, and it is there for ever.

Similarly I visit nightmare, panic, depression and loss when I am vulnerable or in transition.  And I learn by trial and error solve and coagula – what I truly wish to sponsor, and to withdraw from what I would not add to.   This last is difficult, because anxiety and violence – co-dependency at any level – are truly attractive and compelling.

The Age of indelible inputs which we have now (by cyberspace network) only copies and makes a little more manifest what is there already and has been for unknown millenia – an infinitely expanding backlog.   Governments get all excited and think they can exploit and control it to keep tabs on everyone, and people are furious;  but it makes a small difference only to those who magnify the idea.  A government is no different from myself or any individual.   Any detail dwelled upon, becomes all-encompassing and engulfing – a universe, a MAYA.   That is why sages and Masters touch on life lightly.    “The situation is desperate, but it isn’t serious.”

Theatre Arunachala Vichara

The shape and consistency of “me” is extraordinarily powerful, to counteract and disregard the universal borrowing that goes on.   Each individual is a Clapham junction.   Trains – individualities, traumas and long life histories, themselves shiploading souls containing eggs and sperm – zoom in and out in shades, occupying an hour or a day or a passing breeze.   Learning to identify the moods as persons or flourishes of the Goddess, may help to release from “identification”;  and to begin travelling consciously within the dream…  like Castaneda.

Paradoxically, identification happens when we do not have good, clear boundaries.

The dreamer in the dream!   Which is which?   Visually, we are cocoons, dreamily interacting with other self absorbed cocoons – a mutual fog.  At a party in a garden, coastlines chat to coastlines of the dark continent and cheerfully restrict each other.    “Here be dragons.”

Coastlines meeting socially

The raised eyebrow of Ramana and the sound of water pouring through Skanda-ashram, reminds me to dislodge the cocoon and ask who … ?    Unanswerable!   My “touch-base” with Ramana has no ashram enclosure.  Ramana “who sports in the Self” … helps me to navigate the quicksand and return to space and base.

In bird watching mode

Ramana Maharshi’s life and atmosphere is embedded in my hard drive, with the Tree of Life.   I hardly notice it!   Why did these useful friends get embedded so?   Not by sitting meditation, but by years of hands-on apprenticeship to a craft.   In my case … drawing, writing, and then learning to use a mac to archive things.  

The computer copies the neural mind.  It demonstrates psychological menus and the way the memory base works.    So the screen is fascinating.  It is a self portrait.   It reflects faithfully, our obsessions.   It displays our private subconscious in full view…  to the extremities of twitter fallout.

wood bird yantra

Then it is up to us to select … what to bind, and what to loose.

The universal snapshot is oblong, like a house, a car, a phone.  As three-dimensioned beings, the oblong and – (with a stretch of imagination) – the Cube … is how we view life and ourselves, habitually.   Conscious participation lifts the lid a little.   Conscious participation accepts Life above and below the screen, and to each limitless side; and fore and aft.   Conscious participation invites a larger spectrum.

The Cube of Space.  See Builders of the Adytum for the course work

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Habitually the planetary orbits around the Sun are viewed as an ellipse –  a thin slice across a hard boiled egg.

Conscious participation intuits –  “above” and “below” that plane – the Solar system as the egg-in-shell of nesting spheres … feel it, taste it, be it.  An electron wave-pulse enspheres the atom so, and gives it number, weight and significance.   The planets in the physical plane, are points: positions in the Heisenberg position-or-motion principle.   The observer’s consciousness “collapses” the observed into one or the other, and records the observation locally.

 The energy-field of each planet – whose physical globe we perceive – does not encircle but enspheres the Sun.   This concept releases an entirely different information:  such as the elder science of astrology:  the interconnectivity of the solar system with galactic wheels, eggs and atoms.

The concept uplifts the interior life to walk tall.   A Yantra is a cross-sectional projection of the tree of life’s organic and actual growth.   The tree – our body – grows up through the Yantra, root, stem, sap, crown and birdsong, through the seasons.

tree yantra

Truth is largely hidden from the daily grind.  It is unavailable to the general news media and entertainment, because it is perpendicular to our limited sensory horizon.  I do not go along with the idea of “conspiracy theories” keeping the human race asleep.  I know too well the pattern of my own inertia momenta to keep me asleep (by habit), to pass the buck!   It is natural, given the habitual pathways, tensions and comfort zone, for this to happen.   The half-conscious state is indeed susceptible to crossroads of bacteria, cancers, ancient kundabuffer (see Gurdjieff), space invaders and what-have-you.   But to imagine a conspiracy is part of the fantasy.  It has no real substance.   It finds no grip.

Are we not, each of us, responsible to …?   Doesn’t each plant wrestle with resistant earth to reach the sun? – (often over many cycles, many lifetimes.) And are we not buds on the same tree, all destined to open, but not at the same time?   What am I to do, right now?  To pass the buck to anyone else, any country, society or government, is day-dreaming and depletive.   Right here, and no where else, is where the quantum leap begins.

Quantum physics knows the morphic resonance of atomic particles.   Where one bows, or hops to a higher orbit, others distant beyond the reach of light and space, behave simultaneously.   We are never alone.  I am never alone.

Sri chakra yantra

I do accept I am hypnotized by what I am conditioned to believe.  Where do I put my concentration … that is the training –  which in due time, manifests?  Esoteric and occult schools drum in the alternative way, by REPETITION.   By repetition is how we view ourselves from infancy, by repetition a musician rehearses, and by repetition we learn.   By repetition the seasons turn.  That makes the scriptures and schoolbooks of Ageless Wisdom seem very boring!

The dimensions:  point (dimensionless) to line, plane, solid, spatial (after Ouspensky).   The Point, its infinite potential in any direction, inward as outward, is the geometry of the sphere, and is perhaps the fourth dimension.

In all the teachings, the Fourth dimension – the grasp of the Whole – is perpendicular to our time and space, inward as outward.   The box falls open!

A tapestry or Sufi blanket is woven into patterns horizontally – lifetimes:  but the thread entering it vertically, at any point, is Consciousness.    At the heart of the thread is pure lambs’ wool, undyed.

The Tailor of the Dark Field

Needles' eye!   
My heart's thread sews   
heaven into fields   
of day and night.   

The point!   
In fragrant flowering night   
are drawn in paths of light   
those patterns of the bright   
sapphire sky.    

Creating the One!   
Passing through point's eye   
into unbound and brilliant hour,   
I AM the sacred thread    
of dim, dark lifetimes gathered   
O Lord of Caves   
and of the meeting rivers!   

Listen to the sound   
unseamed   
where waters meet;   

my point opens   
the way a diamond   
shines.

from Siva Poems, circa 1994

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Tetrahedral Tree of Life (1993)

Mouni Sadhu – (in Meditation, chapter 33 The Possibility of Miracles) gave a useful exercise to train the mind to step out of the box:

“(1) Take a small box, a match-box will do.  Look intently INSIDE it and study it, so that every detail will be firmly impressed on your mind, and you can then recreate it in your imagination in full when you are not actually looking in the box.  It is not easy, I know, but no important undertaking which is rich in results has ever been easy! 

“(2) When you have finished with the ‘inside’ of your box and can build an exact picture of it in your mind, pass to a study of its OUTER surface, exactly as you did with the INSIDE.  Check the results carefully, so the new picture is just like the first (1), clear cut and definite. 

“(3) Now comes the actual test:  try to get a SIMULTANEOUS picture in your mind of the inside and outside of your match-box.  If you succeed, you have enriched yourself with a certain enlargement of consciousness, which leads to a realisation of the possibility of higher dimensions. 

“This exercise may take a lot of time (weeks or months) if it is to be performed as intended.  And it is quite possible that you will feel yourself completely unable to perform it.  Then leave it alone, nobody can exceed his actual powers, and it is not essential. 

“Most probably, you would like to hear how a unit of say, the FOURTH dimension may look in relation to its predecessor, the cube.  Well, it must be built by the creation of a body, which will be simultaneously perpendicular to all the surfaces of our cube, as our former deliberations about the three known dimensions and their formation have shown us.  Only a mathematically skilled mind may see such a possibility clearly. 

“The problem is up to you to decide and try it for yourself. 

“Incidentally, this ‘fantastic’ four-dimensional unit, derived from a cube, is often called ‘THE TESSARACT’.”

Mouni Sadhu

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Orbits meet

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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 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.

Drawing the Sri Chakra Yantra: some early Notes

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The most visited post in this blog is the one which “began” it – “How to Draw the Sri Chakra Yantra” in early June.   This exercise was foundational to my creative projects down the years.  The wedding of Siva and Sakti through the cosmic lattice – whether subtle or physical – is the groundwork.  It underwrites and ensures a healthy lotus.

I discovered the other day, the following sequence of drawings and diagrams, which may be of some interest.

In 1993, I kept (with my beloved of that time) a log-book.  We were laying foundations for a spiritual dwelling.  So to begin with, the two pages which follow are thoughts of the Sun, from Maitri Upanishad chapter 6:

“(1) – the Self bears himself in two ways, as he who is breath and he who is the Sun.  Therefore, two, as true, are these paths inward outward.  They both turn back in a day and night.  Yonder sun is the outer self;  the inner self is breath.  Hence, the course of the inner self is measured by the course of the outer self. 

“For thus it has been said: 

“Whoever is a Knower, who has freed from evil the overseer of his senses, is pure minded and firmly established in that which is locked away from outward objects, is even so, the Self.  Likewise, the course of the Outer Self is measured by the course of the Inner Self.  Now that golden person who is within the Sun, who looks on this earth from his golden place, is even he who has entered into the lotus of the heart and eats food. 

“(2) – Now, he who has entered the lotus of the heart and eats food …

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The action of the Sun in all directions, inward as outward

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Following this, the Upanishad says:  “There are two ways of contemplation of Brahman:  in sound and in silence.  By sound we go to silence.  The sound of Brahman is OM.  With OM we go to the End: the silence of Brahman.  The End is immortality, union and peace. 

“Even as a spider reaches the liberty of space by means of its own thread, the man of contemplation by means of OM reaches freedom.”

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A cutting for the logbook, with a quote from the Yoga Vasishta

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Here are the early Sri Chakra diagrams from 1993.  The method is from Saundarya-Lahari – The Ocean of Beauty by Sri Shankara-Bhagavatpada, a translation by the Theosophical Publishing House in Madras, 1937.    The method opens the hymn as a whole.  I tried it out, and simplified it just a little, to understand it.

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Note:  alchemical sulphur (fire) is represented also by a triangle atop a cross – see next drawing.   In the “trinity”, sulphur is rajas-guna, salt is tamas-guna, and mercury their balance is sattva-guna.  The alchemical qualities corresponding to eastern gunas are an interplay of elemental humours – dry, damp, ardent, and so forth.   Water mixed with earth is damp:  earth mixed with air is dry.  Each element inclines to fire or to water.  It all embodies prana, breath.   Upon these very basic qualities the universe is woven.

Flame is an upward triangle:  water a downward droplet.  Flame is phallus and water is womb.

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A reference to the same interpenetrative law, in the Tao philosophy:  I Ching Hexagram 11 with Earth over Heaven: Peace.  When Heaven-creative trigram (three Yang lines) stands above  Earth-receptive trigram (three Yin lines), they draw apart – the static “Standstill” hexagram.  But when they are infolded the other way round, the Heavenly power ascends through gravitational Earth – the male through the female – fertility – which is “peace”.

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This archive is by way of an embellishment.  For the method to draw it yourself, see How to Draw the Sri Chakra Yantra 12 June.

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This was used as the logo for the Ramana Foundation UK journal, SELF ENQUIRY.

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More recently, in 2008 I drew this version, as part of an Ananga-Ranga series …

The Sri Chakra Yantra, fountain of eastern wisdom, combines here with the Tree of Kabbalah.  The lovers are seated at Tifareth: Consciousness.   Crucial to spiritual development, world peace and all good intentions, is health and loving-kindness in our sexual nature (whether active or sublimated) and relationships.   We are on and in this earth for the Great Work.  The flasks, retorts and pelicans in alchemical engravings, contain the lovers at every stage of the “cooking”.  Their prana breathes the Divine One in and out.

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SOUL PARTNERSHIP SELF TOUCHING:

Inner and outer Tetrahedrons. A Tetrahedron is a triangle with four sides. The fourth point is a fulcrum – the dimension of volume or understanding, in any relationship.

The points of the interior, inverted Tetrahedron, touch the sides of the exterior Tetrahedron. Extending through the sides to equal size, they form with it, the Platonic Seal of Solomon.

Star of David/Seal of Solomon/Cube of space – 3dimensional tetrahedron structure

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Finally, another newspaper cutting …

… from the logbook in 1993.   “Kate Adie” (celebrated war correspondent) was my bossy persona …  anxious to keep myself updated on the militant-esoterickal scene.

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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 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.

On the Coastal Path – Kabbalah & Travellers’ Treasure

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My journey in 1991 was a major turning point or “seeing”, from which I later on wrote The Field of the Dead, on eclipse and standing stones – to be published here shortly.   Meanwhile, my coastal Sadhana from Strumble Head to Pwllderi youth hostel continues –  a rediscovery of views and friendship …

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Sunset, Cap Frehel from Alet in Brittany, 1987

August 1991:  Sunset

Earlier this summer, in France with my sister and her children, I went walking and devised a way to contemplate the Star of Solomon alchemically:

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Sunset Star and Sulphur Symbol

Quicksilver is the descending triangle.  It is the silver sea, reflecting light … and it is the receptive Mercury or mind whose power expands up the stem, with the thermal fire of concentration.

Gold (or sulphur/fire) is the ascending triangle, the inner or Divine Signature of all things.  It pre-exists the silver sea, but only appears when the silver sea is in a prime state – receptive concentration.   Drawn to a point, receptive concentration becomes “fire” (spark) or flame.

Now see the points – the apex – of both triangles, the one above, and the one below.  The silver point reflects when focused, the point of the gold.  When alchemical mercury (the mind) is one-pointed inward, it transmutes.   It reveals … gold.

“Before time began, I am.”   “No mind, I am the Self.”  “Before Abraham was, I am.”

It rises like the flame symbol:  the primordial radiation.  This is prana, the breath of the sea.  The gold seems to be born in the silver…  but only because the silver reflecting it, gives up into it herself.  This is Self surrender.  Silver is the lunar organ of response to the Sun’s light.

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Now, in Pembrokeshire last week, at Pwllderi youth-hostel on the cliffs near Strumble Head Lighthouse, I watched the sun set:

Silver sea or tide, quiescent and still.

The sun, the Great Sage, cannot be seen.  He descends behind a horizontal bank of cloud which ends a little above the horizon.  But the quiescent silver reflects with a slowly growing intensity, his light behind the cloudy veil.   On the distant water, a golden egg is laid.  A tiny line of dazzling fire gradually fattens to an ellipse – a vesica or lens of fire – upon the silver element.  It becomes too bright to look at.   Then an elliptic shadow of gold begins to form beneath the fire.  It draws light into itself as it embodies slowly a sphere and then a pathway to the seer here.

As the reflected fire disappears into the expanding path, I see at last the Sun’s golden echo on the water.

Now the echo lengthens rapidly, as shadows do.   Subtly, a misty gold pathway awaits the Lord from horizon to the seer.    Then the Star Himself emerges, unbearably fiery, molten radiant gold – shield the eyes!   Everywhere lights up;  the sea is ablaze.   Phoenix!

An unseen bank of mist lingers along the horizon.  Very soon the star of gold disappears into it, the path fades and the sea turns grey.

The use of symbols is rooted in Nature’s object-lessons.  Sunset is not just a photo;  it berths and births right now.   What is seen?

On another evening, the Sun did not appear.  A part of the sea blushed softly gold for a time, in a bridal mist of expectancy, as if embracing something which could not possibly be seen.

Image

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Hey.  With reference to the point, or needles’ eye in meditation’s silver sea, I just came across this, in The Mountain Path (summer 1991) – from Sri Ramana’s letter to Ganapati Muni:

“When the mind having pure sattva (calm and purity) as its characteristic, begins attending to the ‘I … I’ which is the sign of the forthcoming direct experience of the Self, the downward facing Heart becomes upward facing, and remains in the form of That (Self).”

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Ramana Puja

And this, from a conversation with S.S.Cohen:

“Bhagavan,” says Cohen, “you said yesterday that there exists in the human body a hole as small as a pin-point, from which consciousness always bubbles out to the body.  Is it open or shut?”

Ramana replies, “It is always shut, being the knot of ignorance which ties the body to consciousness.  When the mind drops away in the temporary Kevala Nirvikalpa (limited bliss/peace), it opens but shuts again.  In Sahaja (unlimited bliss/peace) it remains always open.”

“How is it during the experience of ‘I … I’ consciousness?”

“This consciousness is the key which opens it permanently.”

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The Self is not a fixture.  The I … i which Ramana speaks includes the fluid dialogue, small-I into the I – the brook and the Sea.  Self is stability, which appears to be fixed, but encompasses everything.  Small i darts in and out of I, like tadpoles.

And David Godman’s comment:  “If the Heart becoming upward facing, is the equivalent of this small consciousness-emitting hole opening, then this is another instance of Bhagavan saying that abidance in the ‘I … I’ – (pulsation of pure being) – “is the way to make the Heart open permanently.  When the Heart is permanently open, the world which was previously assumed to be external, is experienced not as separate names and forms, but as one’s own Self, as the immanent Brahman.”

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Stormy sunset: St Malo 1987

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Lighthouse Scrible:  Kabbalah

One evening, I walked to Strumble Head Lighthouse.   It is about five miles.   I went “up the mountain” first, behind the Youth Hostel.  This landmark can be seen from miles around, and from it you see the whole of the Welsh “Lands End” as if from an island.  Around it flow, like ocean currents, the fields great and small, of vivid agricultures.

Below the summit’s rocky tumuli I found a road towards the lighthouse, over the undulating fields.  When I got there, night had fallen.  The light is a revolving sequence of One, Two, Three, Four dazzling flashes clockwise, over the farmland. During the dark interval, One, Two, Three arms of light sweep the sea beyond.   The fourth seaward beam re-emerges in blinding light, as the first of the four landward flashes.  The fourth of these is the first over the sea;  and so on, in perfect sequence.

In numerical spiral, the four pulses are dovetailed into the Dance of Three:  the primal circuitry.

An electron dances a dual revolution of matter with the dark sea of anti-matter.  Each side – like a seed, or the ventricles of the heart – reflects and gives rise to the other.

TETRAGRAMMATON is the unspoken Name (J,H,V,H) of God.

In the Hermetic art, TETRAGRAMMATON applies to the four fold fertile rhythm throughout Nature and Creation.  Without it, no heart would beat, no substance form.

Father is YOD, Mother is HEH, their Child is VAV, and their Family is YOD, inseminating the next generation and the next.  It is like the blood through veins, the river’s fall through valleys, and gravity’s gentle curve of the infinite.

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Tetragrammaton cycle

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Strumble Light is a squat building, white and very clean.  It sits on a green tufted panther of volcanic rock.  A light metal bridge over a narrow surge of sea connects it to the mainland.

That night, I sat and watched its cyclic light.  The glowing geometries of the multiple lens rotate, strangely hermetic, within its lattice window.  Rhythmic arms of the beam sweep the night.   A scribbled “Scripture” of light flashes along the pitch dark craggy cliffs – the Bible of an instant.

My walk back to Pwllderi youth-hostel and my tent, along this precipitous coastal path in the dark, is an adventure!   It takes about an hour;  it is rugged, and some stretches of it are unknown ground.

The path opens an instinct of itself ahead.  Sometimes it is lit by the flicker of JHVH.  For the rest, my feet must find it.   Attune them to the terrain:  hurry not!   Lean back, and let my feet carry me home … for they seem to know, like wild ponies do.

The script is again, as on my bicycle earlier – “Lean back into Now.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12547928@N07/7430530274/lightbox/

and I just discovered a photo of Strumble Light at night in http://judeness.wordpress.com/2009/01 – (star, light and houses) … a visual feast of a blog!

How often along these paths and cliffs, I thought of St Christopher carrying his sacred burden over the river.  It grew heavier and heavier upon him.  It clung to him like an angry old woman, like the tired body of the Spirit going uphill.  The higher you leap the heavier it gets, O Gravity, you Grave One.  Finally he reached the other bank, and set down none other but the Christ Child.  The act of kindness realized him.

Franz Liszt set this to music:  piano and baritone.

When I get really tired after a long scramble, it helps to become a child being carried home, ride pick-a-back on this body.  “Take me home!”   The trick is to let my hips and lower spine be shock absorbers:  roll ball-socket, loose and yielding:  let Yoga in motion be the auto pilot.   It is about degrees of unstressed awareness.  It takes practice.  It is hard when fatigued in life – difficult not to strain ahead and wish this steep slope were over.

Very subtle is the way my feet, in relation to an alert quietude of mind, seek and find rocks and pebbles for support or stumble … hold gently, firmly the ground, like hands.

… don’t get in the way of the goat, pony or alchemical saint –  Fulcanelli in La Mystere des Cathedrales makes much of St Christopher!  – who trundles homeward over uncharted and untrod terrain.  The starry constellations are received in moments when I rest, downward into the earthy, stony track, like a root.

Small stones glow.

Who am I?  the mobile root of the sky at night, en route.

Revelation flashes a Bible over the cliffs:  a lifetime touches, climbs and finds them.

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Image

Pwllderi is just visible in the background.

Friendship

On the sloping patch of ground behind the Youth-hostel, I made friends with a large, orange and yellow tent surrounded by a chaos of self sufficiency.   Her name is Oni.  She works with British Airways.  When she isn’t flying around in stratospheric cabins and being well groomed, she takes off with her portable cave, well away from the flight paths, turns into a shaggy troubadour and cooks lengthy feasts out of doors at midnight.  Hiking around burial grounds and standing stones with sketchpad and watercolours, Oni converses with unexpected outlines of Providence.   You could hear her cheerful voice from the other side of the field.

 

When she arrived, she pitched next door to me.  Oh no, one of those Talkers!   Will she go on all night?  But then we got acquainted.  “Come and have a bite,” she invited. “I like sharing things.”  And a gale of anecdotes and escapades flowed forth from this scamp:  a kindred spirit.   We quickly found our mutual affinities – to hang out!  Make no plans!  Travel alone and meet everyone!  Follow the weather, that trail of the unexpected which delivers up a musical mosaic so much Larger than Life!

As wind and imminent rain built up for the night, we sat beneath a drunkenly swaying GAZ lamp by the awning – I thought she was an entire family, she has so much stuff everywhere, but no, it’s just herself – and discussed life.  We dined on trout, baked potatoes and bullet peas mixed up with mushrooms which she cooked in foil over some kind of coal in the grass, in the dark.  The coal took forty minutes to become incandescent.   As the wind gusted and buffeted, Oni badgered back and forth;  we sipped airline Drambuies to keep warm.  She found also a half bottle of airline Medoc, and finally dished up supper in tin plates with the aplomb of a grubby eleven year old.

Presently we became aware that we had new neighbours.  Two young Belgian boys, struggling to peg their tent in pitch dark in the gale, appeared in the cluttered entrance to Oni’s cave.   Their hairy white shanks in very short shorts trembled knock-knee in the night like daddy-long-legses. “’Ow can it be,” they gesticulated “that you two sit out here like this, like midi on the Riviera taking ze sun, ‘ow can you be so strong and tough, look, we don’ know ‘ow to make this tent and the wind, cold, dark, and the legs zey won’t stop doing zis …”

Later, after I crawled back under my patched and archaic sway-backed canvas to sleep, I heard Oni calling me.   Jane, there’s a curtain of vertical columns of light!  Over there in the northern sky – I’m sorry but I had to tell you, you’ve got to look.  Isn’t it bizarre? … like aurora borealis without colour, but it must be, you know it IS THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!

I laboriously untied my tent-flaps yet again from the pole, looked out and saw it too.  What else could it be?  The stars were all out with it, very bright. Earlier today, the sea was glassy calm, and the Warden said the sea-birds were upset, the weather’s about to change, there must be something very unusual in the atmosphere …?   – and I went back in and to sleep feeling strangely happy and replete, my body into the hard ground.   It was the only night I slept well – the previous two nights I didn’t sleep AT ALL.   I decided to take a leaf from Oni:  invest in some up to date gear.

My cave is regarded with derision by herself and by a middle aged couple nearby, who are trying out a workmanlike eight-man edifice.  That’s not a tent!  You can’t go camping in that, it won’t last five minutes.  It’s a toy, you do it at school, you put it up in the garden … Ha ha ha!

My greyish-white old canvas and draughty sway-backed faded flysheet, is too genuinely an archetypal tent to be convincing:  and at least 30 years old.  It’s a snail wondering if it is an aeroplane.   However, when it blew really hard, it was Oni and the eight-man couple who got no sleep for the buffeting of synthetic fibre and the struggle to keep their nice modern caves attached to the ground.  They toiled off to Fishguard in the morning for a fresh supply of pegs, while I set out for another long walk along the coastal path to see the big waves.   So they ate their words!  My cave hugged the ground imperturbably as Gibralter with the wind blowing through it.

But on my walk, I began to feel bothered.  Shouldn’t I have stayed to help them?  I wanted to talk with Oni some more.  I felt shy and uncollected.  On my way back from Strumble, along a stretch of path straight as an arrow – a NOW through banks of golden gorse and flowering heather, who should be approaching but herself, rosy face, multi-coloured jersey and rucksack with sketching things, blond hair a-tangle.  We laughed, and wondered what we both look like when we are back home.  Oni was off for another long hike, then back to work in her metal tubes.  We didn’t quite know how to throw a line over into the passing ship, so we left it like that.  I had an idea.  When I got back I wrote my address on some paper and rolled it around her windscreen wiper.   I found her car with no trouble – it was unmistakable.  She had poured her cave straight into it.

A letter arrived this week:

“Dear Jane, I was very amused on returning from my hike to find the ‘Post’ had called! … I really enjoyed my few days camping and hiking in Wales.  Like you, I so enjoy hiking around and meeting similar unusual people, all roughing it for a bit.  I wonder how the rest of your walk went.  The weather has sure turned beautifully hot again – we’ve been frying in our metal tubes – the aircraft!   Yesterday we flew to Madrid – 110 degrees F!!   Glad we were only there for an hour.

“My last day’s walk was weird – total contrast.  A sea mist swirled round the Tors, and you could believe you were wandering around Snowdon.  But even in the mist I came across another of those wonderful brilliant hued rock gardens round the Tor summit.  Strange shapes of hikers flapped through the rocks, like lost souls haunting the wilds! By the time the rain set in, I was on my way home, in the evening, but I was so tired from the previous night’s disturbed sleep and re-pegging – I actually camped again, beyond Bath.  I was falling asleep at the wheel.  All good wishes, Oni.”

**

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Coastal path 1991 – place of meeting!

After meeting her like that, the day unrolled many treasures.  Wild cloud-bank of mist drove in from the West and over the tor.  I raced to the top to see, greet and be enveloped in the cloud.  Next I journeyed to the end of the great Dinosaur headland, where the sky cleared again, and I began my exploration to the cove of purple sandstone.  (See On the Coastal Path with Krishnamurti and Ramana)

For it was Oni who directed me to those paths, south of the Dinosaur.  On one of her own big treks, she found and investigated a wool mill and a track leading down to a dramatic beach further down.  “You know I love those folded rock formations!  Weird shapes, colours, terrific …” – and she found a rope tied to a metal bolt, which dangled some thirty feet or so to the base of the cliff.   Down the rope she went.  “What a GREAT way to go for a swim.  You know, the swim I had in that beach is one of the best swims I EVER had.”

After I discovered the cove of violet stones, the spiral snake and titanic Hartland families, I too found that place, further down the coast, and swung down the rope to swim in bouncy peaked rollers coming in over the sand.  There was rather a lot of seaweed, and after my swim I found a large jellyfish stranded and collapsed upon the beach.  But the water in the slanting sunlight was a joy;  a smile for Oni’s naughty tousled shape, in that green place above the beach where the path descends;  her friendly grin like a carousing minstrel.   Surprised and slightly alarmed at a depth of affection like a sign-post.

We are connected, a long way back.  Somewhere, we were a pair of mates, mess-mates maybe;  and now the paths swing back together, luring us to Strumble in wild Wales.   I am at peace with whatever comes next, and the feeling fades, being just a signal.   Much there is to share and learn with this funny person.  Much of value.

Here is a drawing she sent me:

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Leo Taurus by Oni

 

**

**

The Warden

Everybody, in the tide of walkers and conversations passing through Pwllderi, was seeing more seals than I.  They arrived back from the cliffs with their tales of spotting whole familes with babies sunning themselves on the rocks.

I LOVE seals.  To see one gives me great kudos, encouragement and hope, during a walk.  But try as I might, I saw only three.  And they were a long way off.  I was so jealous of those gifted walkers.   I was consoled by a few stewards of Neptune who also abound in these parts:  dolphins and porpoises with tall black dorsal fins rose suddenly in a swell of off-shore current, to snort and blow.  One pair was greyish white.

Mostly I saw only jelly-fish, hundreds and hundreds of them.  They quivered like phallic toadstools in the deep water along the “lions’ paw” headlands, and put the damper on carefree swimming.

Neither was I very successful in locating Ancient Monuments indicated on my map.  I got very exhausted floundering around in gorse, and trying to cross the country from one pile of stones to another while avoiding farms and barking dogs.   I am not a gifted tourist of Neolithic wisdom and energy fields.   I seem to dowse it only on the cliffs themselves.  I was extremely annoyed that Oni discovered so many more monuments than I did.   Holidaying on the coastal path, to rough it in the open, gets lonely and tiring.  I’m dragging my feet up some muddy lane.  Then suddenly, along comes a familiar face or pair of people I spoke to earlier;  their legs are scratched, they are trying to find a route through a string of cow-patted farmyards, they offer a drink and some chocolate, we start floundering around in the gorse together, seeking unsuccessfully yet another Gothic Site of Burial on the O.S.map.   The air lifts;  I rejoin my human tribe;  the tiredness is gone.   I am not a hundred-per-cent hermit.

Pwllderi Youth-hostel is perched over the bay between the Dinosaur and the slumbering lions of Strumble.  The Warden comes out into the sunset each evening.  He raises his binoculars to inspect the cliff-path in each direction:  the coming night’s clientele.  “Where are they?  There’s no one coming along yet.  As soon as I sit down to have me supper, blow me there’ll be seven of ‘em here won’t there, wanting to check in all at once.”

Mine host is a dedicated character.  He genially receives the motley tide of travelers through his shelter – a thin old billygoat with bushy old-mans-beard and two merry teeth, like the guinea-pigs he keeps on grass near the tents behind his house.   The terrain of his visitors is unpredictable, like the West Wales climate.   Sometimes a straggle of lone eccentrics … a group of vociferous Germans … efficient girls traveling together with maps and lists … families … hikers and bikers … a party of twittering school kids.   Some nights have a mushrooming of tents under his wing, and other nights none at all.  He collects ancient bottles, skulls, sheep bones and cacti.  These profusely decorate his panoramic verandah, where weary walkers sit, smoke and admire the sunset.  One of the cacti opened during my visit into a huge pink flower of love.  Mine host danced attendance, hospitably.

The Warden of Pwllderi is on excellent terms with the farming community of Strumble Head.  He looks out for their cattle.  They look out for his groceries.  When the weather is rough, the mutual assistance over the battered landscape is close-knit.  The plumber arrived for a long, lilting conversation.  He never gets any work done when he visits Pwllderi, so there are still no showers.   I sat on the drystone wall, bone-tired after a long day, and watched with vague absorbtion, two efficient young men unpack and pitch.   The plumber thought I was feeling sad, and began to scold the Warden.   “Look you, boy-bach, pwy ydy’r merch ifanc’ ma?  why don’t you cheer her up a bit? – you haven’t got that canoe of yours out for a while now, have you.   Take her fishing in it round Penbwchy Head and show her some seals!   Go on.  Don’t be so selfish.”

The Warden runs a little shop inside the Youth-hostel, as there aren’t any others for miles.  In his cubby hole by the TV he keeps a mirror artfully angled over his head, so he can see instantly when SHOP is required;  or the arrival of a new “cave” upon the back of its knock-knee’d snail.  As soon as you stop by the hatch, he appears tetchily and carefully balances his cigarette on a nicotine-rimmed shelf.  If he’s run out of eggs he jumps in his jeep and drives off to fetch some from the nearest farm.

There is a very beautiful and comely young woman in the house, who is referred to as “My Assistant”.  In the evening she puts on a white overall, and puts the suppers (pies from the local bakery plus tinned veg) in the oven – for those who are not self-catering.  He gossips.  She sweeps the floor around him.  Perhaps she is studying to be a Warden.  In the morning there is an invariable strident bellow:  “BREAKFAST!”

Self catering – like Self-enqiury – saves money and is flexible with time.  The kitchen gets crowded along a bank of baby bellings with polite travelers struggling to assemble toast, bacon, cornflakes and tea.  “So where have YOU been then?” snapped the Warden when I tottered in very late at night after cycling from St David’s, and asked sleepily for a tin of Irish stew.  It is oddly relaxing to prepare a meal.  The effort of my ride through many miles of dark lanes, still rings in my ears.  The wind again begins to blow hard.   Will my Rock of Gibralter stand another night of this?  Out again into the dark, with a torch, the busy work to re-peg.

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My mother near Pwllderi, 2002

**

Those volcanic cliffs to Strumble – splayed paws of the Great Cat – you know what they also are, so rounded?   Seals.  The seals know their own.  Between each toe of the Great Cat are deep, Gothic caverns and archways.  Put my foot with that landscape, to wander.  Let sole and toes hold flexibly the ground along the trail, like a hand.   When the sole of my foot is sensitive and mobile, the rest of my body flows.   This sense also in my palm and along my fingers, reaches to touch … who knows what it wants, or grasps?

Discover then, my fellow monkey, that forgotten knowledge in your OTHER pair of hands which hold so lightly, yet so close the ground.   Have you a head?   Look, and see!

**

Satsang AGM, Ramana Foundation UK, 1994

 **

DRAWINGS BY ONI:

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 Lift, by Oni

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Crossing the tracks;  by Oni 

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Stream lining – cycles to rebirth:   by Oni

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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 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.

Neolithic (2)

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Rock trail

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31 July 2012

Some visitors are colliding fish, but some are sperms and stay.

I feel suddenly my Neolithic lifetime and message by the river, with the impression of axes to grind.   In the Neolithic life I knew about the heart of stone and flinty chip flake vein and water, it sang in my blood.   When I make an edge or point, it is a jewel.   It converges facets and ridges like a mountain, an emerald, a diamond.  It is a weapon.  Its target is my food and fire.   Because those facets flow and curve along the stone’s yielding paths, it is a Himalaya peak.   It is warm, it flows and throbs.   From its chafing with another, flies the spark;  the primordial hearth-fire.   I cradle in my hands the smoking tinder, like a birds nest.  As a human I carve and erode stone, like the sea does, but quicker.

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Sands

Conventional gems in the jewellers trade, are trapped in little velvet cases and sold into marriage.

The Stone of Life in Sadhana is chipped, sculpted, chiselled.   As the teeming decades pass, the Himalayan blade emerges, translucent, delicate, unadorned.

The Sword of Sadhana is a pencil being sharpened: alchemy’s immersion through fire and flow.

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River falls

**

**

 

 

 

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.

The Sacred India Tarot: Creation of the Devil Card

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THE CREATION OF THE SACRED INDIA TAROT

CARD 15:  The Devil – Mara with his Three Daughters

This is part of the Sacred India Tarot series, which is usually published by aryayogi.wordpress.com.   Due to a tech. problem in India, and because I found a paragraph which needed a small revision, I am publishing it also, here.   These entries – as can be seen in the previous one on Ganga – contain much process work as each concept developed transoceanically.   Additionally, life and dreams at night, fed in their  data.

Later in the deck, 6 of Pentacles depicts the Buddha’s Enlightenment.  The demon Mara makes a reappearance, trying to distract him with his raw power:  the Buddha keeps firm contact with the ground.

This cropped image from 6 of Pentacles card, of Mara and the Buddha, is relevant to the material of card 15:

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Detail from SITA 6 of Pentacles

**

Here first, is an image Rohit sent me, heading his Notes; and under it is my first sketch for the ideas in this Arcanum.

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Rohit’s Notes:

A very difficult card, as India does not have any such notion as the Devil.  It was a great struggle to resist using a Horned One equivalent, as the Celtic packs do, or a Pan equivalent.

However, Buddhist Mythology does have an Evil One – Mara.  Since the pack is an Indian mythology pack, and the Buddha is one of the greatest figures in the culture, I felt we can use this.  Mara plays the same role in the enlightenment of the Buddha, as Satan the Adversary does, when Jesus is in the desert, tempting and then trying to frighten him.

The illustration we will send of the blue demon, is a good place to start.  Please keep the skull headgear.  The costumes of the Balinese dancers are also a good way to depict him.  I am tired of the wild skins and hairy features of the standard packs.  “The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.”  I forget who said that, but the suave, dangerous aspect of the Devil is what we need.  This card should not be overdone, as we are going to use this again in the suit of Pentacles.

What we need here, is the Devil holding his three daughters and a couple of men, in the standard manner, with chains around their necks, all the human figures to be nude, as is the typical custom in depicting the chains of the Devil.  He should be given a vicious looking sword to hold too, the other hand having a musical instrument of some sort.  The environment should not be depicted as forbidding and hopeless.  The power of the Devil is precisely his offer of a high standard of living and comfort.

Can you communicate a sort of serpentine fluidity to the man?  His figure should dominate the card, but it should not stand in the typical still and straight divine posture.  The Devil is polymorphous, too easily swayed by circumstances, too eager to seize immediate advantage to appreciate the long-term advantage of standing firm.  An air of instability will convey the essential hollow nature of his power.

The Devil is in Jungian terms, the challenge of the Shadow, and is in that sense an extremely useful and necessary part of the human imagination.

*

Jane’s Process Notes – 15 September 2002

These are quite lengthy extracts again from my workbook.  The “Devil” card  is “made for artists” because through  realizing what we project, we strip down the effigies of our bossy Saint.  We meet and are challenged here by the raw subconscious material, and we are as putty!   Through this Arcanum, as we learn to see it, gleams truth.   Rudra enters the picture again:

*

Arrived at Caroline’s to meet Sparkie in a happy and curious-about-it frame, after a large and excellent calzone-pizza with A and two glasses of wine;  and left there later, weary and depressed.  It is very tiring to have to sit through this kind of thing in a hot padded room, late in the evening.  My bitchings about Satsang givers are not quite on the mark, so I shall refrain.   I liked Sparkie’s earnest lady helpers and the Teutonic gang with the electronics and the camera – the electronics broke down half way through and nearly started a fire.   That was rather a relief, because the soporific new-age-zen background tinkling, though at first quite pleasant, was getting on my nerves.  Sparkie didn’t attempt any rev-ups with me, though he really pulled poor A out on the mat, for “the Advaita movement in England”, because there wasn’t really anyone else there to work with.  So in the end, I chipped in, to support Alan, and said there was a movement a few years ago, with everyone going to everybody, but now they’ve all found their teachers among themselves and got married. 

Which basically implied – you’re superfluous, mate.

My impression is that Sparkie, a blond and bearded trans-atlantic Englishman whose home is now Germany, is used to talking now in German to Germans, and had a hard job connecting to Londoners … who prefer something a little more tongue in cheek.  In his view, the Western “spiritual tradition” meeting the East, is modern psychology, and he “does not dismiss politics”.  The opinions are his, and himself-centered.  His German ladies adore him – this is natural: devotion on the spiritual path.

I should try to go to things un-comparitively, but for one schooled with the un-person-centered vitality of Kabbalah and the delicious honesty and humour of its teachers, this little gathering was a tomb.   There was a table there, covered with dazzling piles of tapes and books and gleaming photos of Papaji messengers, with among them, poor patient Ramana, and even Anandamayi Ma … presented as icons, swept into this personality cult.

These musings lead me usefully into my rather heavy work for the coming week – India Tarot Devil, Tower and Star, to be guinea-pigged through my subconscious into the light.   For instance, Key 15 the Devil is in the western Mysteries, the artist’s card par excellence.  It covers the whole field of projectile-prakriti into enclosure and includes my recent “Initiation”, drawing portraits of inner plane Masters:  “Ah Netr Ankh”, Hail to the Lord of Life.  The enclosure is a projection of the Infinite into small forms of separateness, definition, solidity.  It puts the illusion into glass and makes it hard to touch.  (What an interesting sentence!)

Serious and be-scattered insomnia last night … I became aware of a whitish, fiery and incomplete figure in my deeps, with none of its limbs defined or ‘finished’ – a kind of fury, but objectively seen.  A rapid visual association brought up my drawing of Wild Rudra – glimpsed yesterday when sorting out my old drawings.

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This drawing has already been used in our Notes on SITA, the Creation of Rudra: The Fool.  Here he is again, now occupying my Shadow.  That’s what it is, inside!  That is the spike of nameless angry heat, which destroys my rest and equilibrium when slipping towards sleep into the fleece of an idea or outlined shape.  It is Rudra the Wild Hunter before the dawn of the Vedas, the one that roars, Rudra the Uncreate who with his bow and arrow shot into Bison Prajapati’s balls just as Prajapati was about to penetrate his own daughter Ushas the Dawn  (India Tarot’s Star).  The seed fell to the ground instead, and became the gap of space and time and separateness within the unity of the Uncreate.  (Stella Kramrisch, The Presence of Siva).  It became cattle, days and nights, destinies and Earth.   Yes!   The Devil – the raw-unconscious – reacts my nameless, sharp, zig zag feeling –  the falsehood of any sort of boundary.

Boundaries there must be, in drawing;  in the Yetzirah/Assiyah relationship (formation and the material world) and in the monitoring of empathies;  but in truth, boundaries there are not, and the outline and the manufacture of boundaries arouses Rudra’s rage against the Devil’s comfort zone, and artist’s bane.   Try to distinguish the level, so that the higher doesn’t get mixed so drainingly into the lower.

Saw too, in this Presence of Rudra, the lightning-flash energy.  I was at ease when limbs, hands and feet were kept open and unfinished, and I was un-eased when they were enclosed and “made”.  Let it break open anew, and smile!  Recalled also (subconscious efficiently delivers) that Rudra in Rohit’s India Tarot is The Fool, the Innocent Before Creation, the wild fury in creation’s trap.   I understand now why they wanted another Rudra-Fool, more terrible and wild;  so I drew the spiky dark lightning colours in the skies around his wild dance, descending through it into earth and mountain through his toe.

The Tarot Fool – eastern & western versions

The Fool in the Adytum (western Mysteries) emanates from Kether, the untrapped potential in the lightning flash before creation:  the flower in the bud.   How wonderful to bridge the traditions, their Light and Shadow as One.  How wonderful to be shown and to know, with my very being.

I held in focus this flickering and undefined presence – practicing a teaching of Francis Lucille’s: to include strange, unvoiced and unlined sensations, let them expand and inform … and at last fell heavily asleep because suddenly it was 7.45 and morning … and had my recurring nightmare of being “on Retreat” with my soul/spiritual group, and being alienated from it like a scapegoat.   I’m afraid my inner Rudra is always spoiling my security routines.  Never mind.  I’m glad to know my Rudra and be shown, like when Kali passed through here.

Yesterday afternoon, something lovely happened.  While tippexing the master copy of SE for the printers, I listened to the first four tapes of Lady Chatterley’s Lover … Lawrence portrays a certain discordant 1920s tedium, as read in Margaret Hilton’s schoolgirlie voice – and then at last Connie gets together with her gamekeeper in the wood on the second side of the fifth tape, and utter beauty against all hope, blossoms:  the full flood of erotic poetry unleashed.

It is a peculiar delight to be free from personal desire, and entranced by the pure beauty and primordial pulse of that erotic description;  to share in the event both male and female, with and as the subtle body.  Because I am free, it is “I AM”, without any buffers, as deep and strong as the sea.   In a pioneering spirit, Lawrence was the supreme and perhaps unique poet of the sexual act in our time:  its all-ecompassing nature and its fleetingness.  I listened and heard and was and smiled.  IT IS THE SAME AS MUSIC.

Fancy going along to Sparkie’s satsang after that!  It’s hardly fair.

 

16 September 2002

Slept much better, after restful day completing SE for the printers, listening to Lady C’s L, and managing to clean the kitchen … and had another Earthquake dream.  (See Notes on SITA: Death II – Kali).  This time, it was a two-storey house out in the west country somewhere.  I woke with the impression fast fading.  Again I wondered how neighbouring buildings had fared.  The ground reeled, and the house perhaps tipped a little, and dropped down at least its own height, into a gulf of silence;  yet no gulf of earth had opened and swallowed it.  The house was as before, with an outside and an inside.  I went to the bathroom downstairs, and there were no cracks in the walls,  and then I woke. 

It seems that oceanic waves pass through my marrow:  the vesica-piscean ripples, as the work of the soul ventures into … higher Yetzirah, or union.  It is also the alchemical Dragon (kundalini).   When I go out from my island into the sea, there are waves surrounding it, like a reef to surmount first.   I used to dream of seeing them.

… I have heard almost all of the 14 tapes of Lady C’s L.  Of course, the power and discovery of that first time, is unrepeatable.  It is the tragic and comic human paradox we have, that sex which touches infinity, creates its own destroyer, transforming to the weary weary linear story of man and woman and brat and do-you-love-me.  One knows – “tha’ knows” – already, and doesn’t want the story.  There is only ever the one time:  kiss it silent.

DHL – an early schoolbook sketch

…  Thinking of DHL, and the great black blight of the collieries, iron and money upon old England, of which he wrote with such passion and anger; and in those days saw and felt the destruction of humanity – this felt so perennial, that I stopped on my bike and made a note:

The interface of humanity with history, has always been that brutalizing agony upon kind Earth.

The difference in our humanity nowadays, is that more of us are involved with history.

That is to say:  seeing history as a blind, mechanical, unsolving force.  And seeing humanity – real humanity – as that which, like within flowers, manages to remain uncrushed.  Would Lawrence nowadays, recognize us as human?  And is not the turning inward and the flourishing of the esoteric wisdom, but a counterpoising accompaniment to ugliness? 

The Catherine-wheel of Cruelty and ugliness was always so, maybe in olden times more intensely so, but in smaller localities.  The tread of the wheel is in these present times wider.  At the same time, a number of specific cruelties become obsolete.  And after WW1 and WW2, no young lad goes lightly to war;  but also there is child pornography, and there is the waste of soviet-regime excrement upon the poisoned lands of eastern Europe, etc.  I think deep down, that I am not involved with ‘history’.   ‘Involved’ is also “caught up in”.  But I see.

 

17 September 2002

I asked for the Spirit Guardian’s help, and was reminded to touch base inwardly – my own heart-swept chamber.  One simply must deal with uninvited pests here.  One can see beyond them into Siva, one can dissolve them in the inner truth, point the ankh at them to sizzle them, laugh at them.  What, you again?

Today I have to draw the devil for India Tarot.  At the “Table Round” (a meditation), I saw clearly how the shadow side of this Key alienates and separates me:  how it becomes cut-out boring thoughts which are not mind, but mischievously say they are, and I feel outcast from sacred gatherings – exactly the dismissal from Eden into anatomy.

At the same time, the Grail shone bright, and practicing the Zodiacal colour spectrum around it, I returned to Capricorn, whose colour indigo, is the devil’s own, and whose sign I am – the creative Key of bind and loose;  creative usurpation, yet manifestation;  surfaces.  I went round to Key 15 and flipped his pentacle and pulled his beard.  His red popish eyes and pompous gesture of authority melted.  The chains fell off Adam and Eve.  Liberation always, is in my heart, and the old Goat is curiously the key to it.  He presents himself perversely, to be seen through.  He has no sense of humour at all.  He is also puritanical – behind my effort to keep all my thoughts pure of irrelevant genitalia or the gutter press, when in my citadel, and spank them if they are not.

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Arcanum 15, from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot deck. 

“Baphomet” is an effigy or persistent thought-form;  but reversal of this word produces TEMOHPAB – Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas: the priest of the temple of peace for all humanity.   Much interior work consists of transforming our negative modes into their opposites – releasing the trapped creative energy as from a coiled up spring.   Through this Arcanum or “Key”, we arrive also at a deeper understanding of our sexuality.  The sum of 15 is 6 – the Tarot Lovers – Adam and Eve – who give each other truth, space and clear seeing.  As the man and woman in 15 become mature, enriching the self-conscious and sub-conscious dialogue in ourselves, the chains slip off them;  the Lovers are no longer bound by false belief.

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Arcanum 6 from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot deck.  The Archangel is Hermetic Rafael, the healing face of God

*

18 September 2002

I began India Tarot’s No.15 – The Devil.  It is going quite well;  it is based on Mara who tempted Buddha, and should therefore suggest a Prince-of-Darkness imitation of the Buddha.  He is glamorous.  His right upper arm, waving the vicious sword, is very powerful;  the left hand playing the veena, is refined.  With the other two hands, he holds like reins, the chains of his three daughters and two men, all in their separate MATTER cocoons. He is skilled in the arts and other business.

He sits in lotus posture, has an enormous dark head and red eyes, and looks thoroughly unreliable.  I remembered he’s the father of lies, and the Alternative Guru – “God, as the ignorant conceive Him to be.”

But also, he is the supreme Key for the artist, and as Rohit describes Jungianly, the indispensable Shadow of real creativity.  His strength is where he cultivates his double nature.  He binds his daughters and their lovers to his theatrical and charismatic ability to stand in front of the light, and whirls his cloak like wings:  operatic passion.  It is best to see the joke in him.

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Sacred India Tarot – card 15: The Devil:  Mara with his Daughters

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And now here is someone behind that, whom I drew at the same time.  He emerged through the woods in a dream. I call him “Art the Gardener”, or maybe “Hiawatha”.

18 September 2002:   “He issurrounded by young trees and leans on a stick or spade, looking at me;  and the branch-patterns formed a heart around his upper torso and head.  He wears a cloth around his middle, Egyptian worker style … he might have elven ears somewhere.  He is somebody in my “library” or “gallery”, and I am glad I have drawn a picture of him.  There is a lot of roughly hatched deep blue sky showing through the taut autumn-turning birch trees.  I used cruder oil pastel, so as not to get too anal over facial details, and the face is left interestingly suggestive and open.  He is very beautiful and strong, he stands in a relaxed and flowing way.  He’s a bit like Christ among the thorns.

*

*

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Perhaps Hiawatha …

19 – 21 September 2002

Interesting email from Vamadeva Frawley, in response to mine.  Ganapati Muni is up to things again.  I’m very pleased about this new correspondence, and hope it will go on.  Vamadeva has the highly-trained knack of reflecting or boiling down deep ideas into succinct sentences to ponder.  (see http://www.vedanet.com)  He sent me also Chapter One of his new and more poetic work on Agni, all in very short, simple and profound paragraphs… …  and in the post arrived a CD from my friend in Hungary, of an Italian/Mephistopheles opera she’s copied for me – perfect to finish drawing my India Tarot No.15 with … !

… The Grail touches earth.  In Botticelli’s last painting, The Nativity, angels embrace humans right down in the strata of the demons.

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Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

“Dear Jane, we think the devil is the most handsome devil we have seen to date.  No change in him at all.  Should the bodies of the women be more defined in a voluptuous sense, or are they OK?  This card is looking fantastic.   With regards, Gautam”

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Twelve Rosicrucean Emblems – PART ONE & PART TWO

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A sequence of alchemical drawings, inspired by Franz Hartmann’s In the Temple of the Pronaos of Wisdom.   His little book describes over 150 signs and symbols from the heart of the Celestial Mother (collected in 1741), the divine Child, and Hermetic axioms. I planned to draw them one by one as Emblems, and make them into a book of meditations.  So far, only a dozen have been done, as they triggered other creative work.   Here they are now – beginning with a first-person “prelude”:

Image  And God …

A root image – together with the Sri Chakra Yantra – for the contents of this blog as a whole.

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This Reveals the Way/Road 10.5.01

The first Emblem – PRAENESIS:  A Ship on the open sea, with a floating anchor, and a star shining overhead, with the inscription:  Hac Monstrante Viam – “This Reveals the Way/Road”

A ship of souls.  A pilgrimage.  All my lifetimes and yours are passengers and crew. The anchor trawls the ocean Current:  the contact.  The star is a Hermetic Cross.

On and on upon the deep, the Quest seeks centre point.  The tug of anchor and of star is Self correcting, like the winds.

The drifting is an alert surrender.

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By all, through All  13.5.01

EMBLEM ONE:  An open Book, with the name MARIA, and a heart transfixed by a sword, with the inscription:  Omnibus in Omnibus – “By all, through all”

The Sword is pure light from heaven, piercing the earth of leaves (the pages) which is open like a flying dove at rest.

As above, so below:  heaven penetrates earth.  Fishes are ripples in the sands.

It is the same light, by all, through all.  All worlds meet;  sand, salt and sea;  sky in the open rock.

The birds are Akasha, or space;  trinity mysterium.  Everything is written in Akasha, but cannot be seen by earth-sense eyes.

Receive the incoming sea.  The heart of the book has countless pages opening along its spine.

The earth of leaves is an alchemical term for the prima materia – the garden we are given to work in, drenched and fertile with nitrates and the seasons’ humous.

Maria is the sea – il mare – and prima materia, Mother Earth.

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In Thy Valorous Strength 5.6.01

EMBLEM TWO:  A seven-headed Monster threatened with a club.  Inscription:  In Virtute Tua – “In Thy Virtue or Valorous Strength”

Act from the heart, by whatever means. The demons of despond and panic cannot be beaten by proxy – only from my Real centre of gravity, with commitment.

The weapon is gripped from the heart, from within, as itself.  Where it strikes, it is armed by the great Exorcist, JHShVH, Yeshua.

In Thy valorous strength, not mine.  Mine is not the Strength.

“May God be resurrected and his foes perish- As wax melts before fire, as smoke is driven by wind – So may all who hate the Lord flee his sight – And the just rejoice!

Psalms

The monster with seven heads is personal egotism or inflation.  Strike at its root or tail, with Self-enquiry.  Defend the sanctum, create a shield.   Use both hands.

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What is not Lost …  10.6.01

EMBLEM THREE:   A closed and sealed Door with an Angel attempting to open it.  Inscription:  Signatur ne Perdatur – “What is not Lost”

The door is a membrane, like the inner ear.  The Angel has tools, but does not force the door.  The keyhole is the extent of vision the sleeper has, peeping through the Tree of Life.

Buried treasure.  Three knots in the wood suggest three worlds, or levels of entry:  ways of perception.The angel sees through all our matter and mass and concerns, being the space of atoms.

The door frame is the fourth Hebrew Letter, DALETh;  the Above is rooted in Below. The grain of the wood flows like water, a river, Yetzirah the World of Formation; the psyche.

The Angel of Beriah (World of Creation) wears the Atef Crown of Light.

On the Tree, the Sefira Daat is where the Angel’s dimension steps through into our consciousness, projecting shadows onto space and time.  It marks also the capillary interchange by prana into the physical blood cells and body, as Consciousness embodies.   This happens in the womb, and in every moment of life.    Daat is emphasized in the little Tree of Life sketch which seems to grow out of the back of the sleeper’s neck.  By the door frame near the top, is an owl creature or demon – a projected shadow from the Light of Angels’ feathers, onto the world.

The Angel’s wings are great waves of galactic ripple, through planetary systems.

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After I drew this, I dreamed my front door was irreparably broken in, during the night, right round the frame;  it had been replaced without support, and just hung there.  I took out some loose bricks.  I was afraid, but I found some lost things – a pair of child’s shoes.  Then I saw my demon, a black, lame, prehistoric creature;  the Shadow limped away over the fields, sticky, prickly and woebegone.  Compassion for it.

Life being cracked open.   Time comes.   The heart shape is lying asleep in the ground, in the Earth of Leaves, like an embryo in the womb.

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As Dawn Breaks through Tears 12.6.01

EMBLEM FOUR:  A Landscape representing an Island.  The sun rises and the stars shine.  Inscription – Aurora ab Lacrymis:  “Dawn breaks through Tears.”

The rising sun strikes his dark material from sleep, like a spark on flint.

It seems that coal rises.  Carboniferous life is the ancient island, dark against the light, the ancient residue of trees, melting to gold, to fire, like the young volcano off Iceland:  ice and flame.

The sea is Consciousness.  The island is a heartbreak.

Tifareth is a ray striking the rock.  It might be a precious gem:  our Stone, or Self.

There are birds of liberated energy or emanation:  the ions which are aeons – the current of static electricity.

There is a ship of souls:  a movement, journey or quest.   There is a lighthouse: a soul on the rock.

The water in the foreground, is rippled like deep sand.  When we clear the view, like rubbing the sleep from our eyes, or polishing silver, the Sun and Galaxy (stars) are seen together.  All is One Mater, materia.

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 Bitter Sweet 29.12.01 (Ramana-birthday)

EMBLEM FIVE:  An Orange-tree bearing Fruits, of which the inner part is sweet while the rind is bitter.  Inscription – Dulce Amarum:  “Bitter Sweet.”

Nostoc – the alchemists’ dew which is gathered at dawn.

The “pith practice” of alchemy is called the Fountain, and in the east it is Kundalini yoga.

The Orange is a mercurial tonal vibration from the Sun.  It transmits warmth and energy.  On the Queen Scale Tree of Life, Hod (reverberation, the Glory) is orange.  The Zodiac has twelve juicy segments.

Citrus fruit is tart at the root and in the pith.  Taste and flavour:  Malkuth, our ground.

Amor = Love.  Amar = Bitter.   These are working opposites.

Tifareth is a seed in the very centre of the tree, right in the white pith or core, at the dawn skyline.  The Heart of the Tree is where all its branches open.   Yesod is where the roots form together a base, and clasp the ground … like a child in utero.   Plant your treasure.

The year’s ending is the seed of Light;  in deepest Yin, sages are born:  the darkest hour has the deepest light.

The sky has ripples of light, like sand crescents: the vesica pisces – fish of Pisces.

The roots are Karmic strands and lifetimes drawn together into the lens which is this Tree.  Where they form one stem, a Yesod or personality grows, at ground level.

“Let us form a vessel to catch the dew of heaven” – to focus an individual, a group or a School.   The parents are implied, in full.

Deeper in the sub-soil is the Kingdom, Malkuth, the host of our interconnected bodies of Light.

The mist above the roots of sunrise – Twelfth House – is the aura. Tifareth is where the aura interfaces/becomes the Malkuth of the Beriah tree – the branches of heaven.

It is universally, a capillary process, both ways.

The citrus orange in earth looks like a ring, like a serpent eating its tail:  the DNA.

This was the first new Emblem in the series – after a long gap – having done some Grail study, and “fountain practice”.  There are thoughts of the One – the Tzaddek wherever on earth – who holds the Axis of Consciousness for this age.

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 Sweet Savour:  Cube of Solomon  2/3.1.02

EMBLEM SIX:  An altar with a fire upon it, in which a heart is burning, sending out a sweet odour.   Inscription:  In Odorum Suavitatis – “Sweet Savour”.

Here the notes are pictures, rather than words

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And here is the Second part of “Twelve Rosicrucean Emblems”:

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The Beyond within Appearance 4.1.02

EMBLEM SIX (2):  An altar with a fire upon it, in which a heart is burning, sending out a sweet odour.  “The Beyond within Appearance”

The rose and the star

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Lily of the Field 10/12.1.02

EMBLEM SEVEN:  A pure white lily in a flowerpot, standing in a garden.  Inscription:  Virginei laus prima pudoris – “Purity is the fruit of modesty”

Studies of the Tattvas – five senses and seven interior stars

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Solomon’s Lily in Earth 12.1.02

EMBLEM SEVEN (2):  A pure white lily in a flowerpot, standing in a garden.

The roots, bulbs and rhizomes are all our interconnected lives and stories.

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Companions of the Light around the Table in the Flower 13.1.02

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Discrimination 2.2.02

EMBLEM EIGHT:  An Angel separating wheat from chaff by means of a Sieve.  Inscription:  Dimittit Inanes – “Renounce the chaos of irrelevant inanities” (NB I do not have latin, and am guessing from the dictionary – help with this and Emblem Seven and the next three titles, would be appreciated!)

The sieve is a Ring of Time, an orbit, a zero.  Through its mesh, the bread of life is sieved.  The watchful Angel is planted in the landscape of all our lives;  the sieve is a lens, or medium within which forms a crucial awareness of our destiny, and how and where to act and what not to do.

The landscape integrates cosmos, fields, pebbles, flowers and watery ocean patterns:  those are all types of soul.   Birds fly into infinity.   Horizontal and vertical planes intersect and flow.

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snowdrop 1969

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Solomon’s Seal

EMBLEM NINE:  A Ring with a jewel, exhibited upon a table.  Inscription: Honori Invincem.  Perhaps “Honour is Invincible” literally.   This and the next emblem were drawn at a much later date, some years apart.

The seal of Solomon containing the Cube of Space, rests on the rivering grain of the wood, the seas, shells and sky.  The jewel is extracted from nature, from the natural state, and developed, undergoing hardships along the way, like humanity.   We are talking of a process of centuries, millennia;   yet alchemy is a quickening, an acceleration of our themes of loss and rediscovery, throwing our life’s activity into high relief.

The jewel and the rivering table, are two views of Time, juxtaposed.

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 Atlas 14.4.08

EMBLEM TEN:  A Globe illuminated by the full moon.  Inscription:  Plena sibi et aliis.

My journal of that day says:  “Creative insight applies to life. (a struggle).  My task is to draw it.  Drawings help. Drawings embody the light.  The Emblem Ten drawing – earth globe, moon, moon’s etheric aura around the planet – is  Earth bound – the World. 

“In this illustration, Atlas (muscle man) holds the world on his shoulders. He is the trunk of the world tree.  Strange eye-rose spirals emerge near him.  They are Time and samskaras – births of the mind.  The cloudscape is as seen from a higher plane;  the full moon and the composition do not suggest a linear mode, but a sphere – the Yin Yang interplay, the near and distant points (which are circles) of light and darkness.

“All is illumined.  The full Moon has a crescent umbra.  The Earth has wrinkled continents – Indian ocean faces – note the burden of the mountain range watershed, which wrinkles its Himalayan nature through Arabia, Turkey, Caucasus, Greece, Alps …  our problem of civilization perhaps;   the itch, the Mediterranean rift of cultural activity … an impression of weights.

“What is suggested here, is a global consciousness beginning to replace a local “tribal” consciousness.

“Atlas is the philosopher, Gaia is his brain, a whole planet is on his shoulders!   Actually he is headless.  The face is the front of the brain.

“My latin dictionary is NO help for the inscription, Pleni Sibi et Aliis.

“Nothing as yet on polar alignment … but managed to draw an alignment/core of approx thirty degrees through North Pole, Finland, Istanbul, Nile, Zimbabwe and East South Africa to Antarctica, taking in the longitude curve.

“Mediterranean is like a hot centre or whirl-spout mandala.   This drawing developed the way it has, with no fixed plan, except to draw my globe without the Americas for a change …  it didn’t take long.”

IMPRESSION today of Atlas:

I chose this image to draw, which combines a potentially peaceful scene, with utmost stress and weight bearing.  2008 happened to be a somewhat trying year for me –  between a rock and a hard place!

If Atlas agrees to be an ornament, he might relax inside his pillar.    If he looks carefully, he might find his ears are wider apart than he can ever stretch his hands.  His head is space for the world and all the universe, to Happen in:  a universal axis.  All he need do, is remove his head gently.

How can anything “work”, until I find myself out?  What is the way Home?

Reflect on … how time was once a local village, rising and setting in a linear way.  Now time is a community of the dawn, around the globe, at all times this moment, a sphere.

As Douglas Harding would say, look carefully at WHAT this hand is pointing to … what is seen?  why, the emblem of Emblems:  empty for the whole wide world, to happen in!

The emblem of Emblems:  “Look for yourself”.

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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 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.

Reflections on The Lovers, and on Gold

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Key Six – The Lovers; Key 0 – The Fool

Builders of the Adytum deck

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Behind Eve in The Lovers, is a growing tree and behind Adam there is a burning bush – a tree of little flames.  Solomon’s left pillar descends (fruit).  The right pillar ascends (fire).   So the water and fire trines interpenetrate.  The sacred geometry of Solomon’s Seal is plain:  the upper and lower points are the angel’s head and Adam-Eve’s hands.  Their hands do not quite touch – they touch the space – it is always evolving, drawing closer, into relationship.

The fire trine’s base line is their heads.  The water trine’s base line is the angel’s arms.  The upper triad of the hour glass descends into the ascending lower one.

Why is the sun behind Archangel Rafael in the Lovers, golden?   The sun in Key 0, The Fool, is white, a white sun.

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Cube of Solomon’s Seal

The White Sun in Key 0, The Fool, is pure Spirit, Kether, the Self, before entering the prismatic spectrum.   Gold is sunlight congealed in the rocky veins of Earth – the star itself.   Gold is a standard currency of value.  In alchemy, gold is a creative medium.   To make gold, we must have gold, in principle, to expand.  Sunlight – the photon – warms every direction in space, unlike moonlight which is polarized.   Gold is the supremely creative metal. It will melt down, flow and re-form into any shape or design, remaining itself.

“If you are Tifareth, the Heart of the Tree of Life, you may live and be as you like, as you are gold.”  The white Sun of the Spirit is En Sof, without end or form.   The gold Sun of the Lovers became a manifest creation, a currency, a sovereign, an art of Life.

The eternal essence of gold is in the sun.  Thus it fires and flows, even when it is bound into a ring.  Golden is the inner nature’s active purity, refined by fire.

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Roscrucean Emblem 7:  Solomon’s Lily in a Field

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Archangel Rafael’s face, arms and hands are yellow.  In Tarot, this is the colour of Consciousness.   The Lovers depict self-consciousness (male) and sub-consciousness (female).  To live accurately, we should pause – to learn the Divine Law as reflected in the feminine pool of our nature;  otherwise we continue to act blindly from false, habitual premises.

The yellow colour, as an Intelligence, is associated with the higher Hermetic octave – Rafael – of the planet Mercury.  All colours have frequencies, or tonal vibrations linked to sound – the spectrum with the octave.  They impact our receptors as specific “Intelligences” or modes of being.  It is a work in itself, to re-sensitize the daily “soup” and discriminate those tones, all stirred around like dirty paint.

Pure yellow is a workaday projection of the gold.   In general, its vibration warms and uplifts, like a daffodil or buttercup:  the dawn.   In the Indian tattva system – the inner essence of the five physical senses – yellow is the cube of Earth:  paradoxically, this Earth tattva resides in the Crown chakra.   In Kabbalah, the Crown is Kether and Earth is Malkuth:  they interchange through the Four Worlds of Jacobs Ladder.

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Tattvas – Interior Stars

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The general meaning is that Spirit lodges everywhere in Earth, and manifests wherever the centre is refined.   In nature – amid tooth and claw – it does this readily;  among humans it is difficult, because we are a work yet incomplete.   Every detail has the long term outcome which the Angel sees, but we are unable to see, when our agendas cloud it.   Yet the Angel needs our evolving body.   Angels have no lower chakras.   Humans have the whole chakra spectrum, in potential.   We supply the Angel’s hands and feet, the living root.

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Tetrahedral Cube

An “Angel” is a shorthand term, meaning “a conduit of cosmic Law.”    Angels are principles and tempi of the galaxies and atoms:  every rotation in our life.   The Angel represents the matrix of our inner Guardians and Teachers, or Maggidim.   The view from a higher – or deeper –  plane, beholds our landscape very differently.  It is difficult for us to see the fields and hills beyond and around the hedges and lanes we walk along;  so we need altitude for perspective.   It is difficult for the Angel to toil within the unique whorl of God’s fingerprint on our life and destiny.   Raised above the maze, we see the finger of God, the YOD, breathing vast life into Adam Qadmon as a whole;  and the minute detail of our self importance in the Mosaic.  The atom is in and of the whole.   This is salutary.

The Archangel in the Lovers is Rafael, whose overall colour tones are pansy-yellow and violet.   Rafael is Hermetic, an informed presence of healing and clarity;  discriminating the mixed pigments of life.   Yellow and violet tones are means whereby the Solar Gold shines through to us efficiently.  Their musical keys are E-natural and A-sharp – together, an augmented 5th; a profoundly questioning interval, resolves towards a 6th.

On the tree the dewy Fruit ripens and falls.   On the burning bush, the Flame rises and speaks.

The tree behind Eve – her kundalini – is brown, green and yellow, the colours which earth the electricity.  Adam’s intellect is incomplete – a blackened or lightning-struck tree – without the fertile root in Eve, as sub-consciousness.   Nourished essentially by Eve, it is up to Adam – our everyday, rational mind – to work the subconscious light and dark issues productively, and to evolve.   The subconscious is amenable to every suggestion or input.   Self consciousness has the key – with clear seeing – to order the amenities, improve health generally, and discard what is not useful.   The insight is always conscious – a turning towards the Angel, often against immense Karmic inertia-momentum.   We carry humanity’s full pressure of history in our DNA.   The DNA chain forms a double helix, like the Hermetic caduceus or Staff.   The snake coiled around the tree behind Eve, represents this:  the DNA cosmic pattern of all her potential children.   Our thought forms are our children, as much as those we bring forth and love.

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Polarity

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“The Lovers” portrays the need to look from higher than our local life-experience.   This applies as much to personal matters, as to politics, ecology and the world-view.  It is helpful to keep acknowledging a perception above and below the limited media spectrum – or screen – of our mass persuasion.

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Patterns

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The Lovers stand in a wide green landscape, giving each other space;  in the distance rises a tall mountain to the Angel.  The mountain is “Binah”, their understanding or blueprint – salt of the Earth – which links them to the golden heart of Nature.   It collects the grains of destiny, like an hourglass.   The green landscape resonates with Venus – her soft, non-resistant metal, copper, turns green – and with the garden of fertility, the multiplicity of seeds.   Through osmosis and photosynthesis, through the colour green, Sunlight is transformed and made available to us, as nourishment.

This simple fact has vast implications.   Yet it begins at home – in the greenwood of my life as given.   Only by turning within, can “I” – yours and mine –  begin our humanity’s response to emergency.  An emergency emerges:  a birth.   Gravity holds all the Universe together;  yet gravitons are – like single fish or starlings in a great flock – imperceptible; and each of us individually, with our staff of infinite DNA, is a graviton.   It starts at home.   It starts here and now.

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Arcana 6 & 0:  The Lovers and The Fool

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To sum up:  the man is full of potential, but suffers from ignorance.   He looks at the woman, who is fertile but passive.   She looks up to Rafael receptively.  She mirrors Rafael’s countenance, and the knowledge how to act, to the man.   Rafael beholds, embraces and gives them both the space to work out their destiny, their hands to touch, their space to for-give.

In another version of The Lovers, the message is again discernment:  the crossroads or point of decision;  the tipping point, whose heritage is centuries hence.

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Lovers:  Crossroads

Ideas arising from a meeting of the BOTA group in London recently.

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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 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.