Feb 182016
 

maxresdefaultIn the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard a thing it is to tell of that wood, savage and harsh and dense, the thought of which renews my fear! So bitter it is that death is hardly more.

I cannot rightly tell how I entered there, I was so full of sleep at that moment when I left the true way; but when I had reached the foot of a hill at the end of that valley which had pierced my heart with fear, I looked up and saw its shoulders already clothed with beams of the planet that leads men straight on every road.

Dante, Divine Comedy

Apr 232011
 

‘Hermes lifts a shield that’s priceless –
Bids it cast a charmed reflection –
Thus does spy the Lord, Osiris,
Youth itself, complete perfection.

‘He that rescued Dionysus
From the flames which killed Semele,
He the Gods, as one, depend on,
Spoke he, thus, to shape the darkness:

‘“King and priest of Egypt, ruler
Of the world, who’s robed in dulia,
Might I beg thee now to listen;
Lord, let time reveal its vision?

‘“See yourself – the face that’s handsome –
Lit by all the stars of heaven?
Take thee now, the horn of plenty,
That which you requested lately.

Hypnotising as the waters
From the clear and crystal palace
Of the Fairy queen and mermaids,
Is the looking glass. The Star gazed.

‘“Drink, my Lord, relive a journey
Govern dreams, see truth in Karma.
Know thee well that life eternal
Is the law and that is Dharma.”

Apr 232011
 

‘‘That’s the good news – more may follow –
But for now, this pill you’ll swallow:
Floods are overdue, I’m thinking;
All of Egypt’s hardly drinking.

‘‘Let there be a great disaster,
Something of a future mystery,
Just to show I’m Lord and Master,
Godly King of timeless history.

‘‘Thinks me now, it’s time to end the
Wider ocean realm. Atlantic
Trading ceases now and Cretans –
I have deemed – are sacrificial.

‘All the learned priests, however,
Those who keep the sacred science,
They’ll escape, I think, to Egypt,
Therein teach the code’s appliance.

‘‘See, vain Greeks, the Mother Isis,
She who yields the greatest brightness,
Guarded now by this, the dog-star;
Point on which to ponder, Priestess.

‘‘Look into the West, fair brothers,
See the setting sun of Horus,
Eye of Falcon prince – the symbol
Once of Ra – who’s ever-watchful.

‘‘Lo, behold, the East, fair sisters,
See the golden calf of Horus,
Which, by noon, shall wax enormous,
Such a bull to beat all others.

‘‘That, you’ll find – beloved Hermes,
He who dared through time to journey –
Should be just enough to conquer
Taurus and those other monsters.’

Apr 232011
 

‘Let the veils be drawn now, Hermes,
Cloak the truth, you might encrypt it.
Keep the signs but aide the journey
Of the searching soul, the mystic.

‘‘Draw thyself the hieroglyphics –
Found in space, the deep harmonic –
Bind in books our thoughts: Ellipses,
Angles, curves, through time atomic.

‘‘Water bearer, step up lightly.
By your side an angel rises;
Prince of ‘Peace’. The star burns brightly;
One for all is King and rightly.

‘‘Then, at last, shall seals be broken,
Holy words shall be respoken,
Love, in spirit, shall be woken,
Doors once closed shall then reopen.

‘‘No more bound the heart, Prometheus;
Free at last, the fire bringer.
As Pandora stands divested
Of all things but Hope, which lingers.

So Apollo’s wolf shall wander

Through the forests, undercover

Of the moon. Her golden brother

Thus returns, reveals The Lover.

Mar 022011
 

“I was the only son of my mother and father, and I was exceedingly aspiring, and my daring was very great. I thought there was no enterprise in the world too mighty for me, and after I had achieved all the adventures that were in my own country, I equipped myself, and set forth to journey through deserts and distant regions.

And at length it chanced that I came to the fairest valley in the world, wherein were trees of equal growth; and a river ran through the valley, and a path was by the side of the river. And I followed the path until mid-day, and continued my journey along the remainder of the valley until the evening; and at the extremity of a plain I came to a large and lustrous Castle, at the foot of which was a torrent.

And I approached the Castle, and there I beheld two youths with yellow curling hair, each with a frontlet of gold upon his head, and clad in a garment of yellow satin, and they had gold clasps upon their insteps. In the hand of each of them was an ivory bow, strung with the sinews of the stag; and their arrows had shafts of the bone of the whale, and were winged with peacock’s feathers; the shafts also had golden heads. And they had daggers with blades of gold, and with hilts of the bone of the whale. And they were shooting their daggers.

“And a little way from them I saw a man in the prime of life, with his beard newly shorn, clad in a robe and a mantle of yellow satin; and round the top of his mantle was a band of gold lace. On his feet were shoes of variegated leather, fastened by two bosses of gold. When I saw him, I went towards him and saluted him, and such was his courtesy that he no sooner received my greeting than he returned it. And he went with me towards the Castle.

Now there were no dwellers in the Castle except those who were in one hall. And there I saw four-and-twenty damsels, embroidering satin at a window. And this I tell thee, Kai, that the least fair of them was fairer than the fairest maid thou hast ever beheld in the Island of Britain, and the least lovely of them was more lovely than Gwenhwyvar, the wife of Arthur, when she has appeared loveliest at the Offering, on the day of the Nativity, or at the feast of Easter”.

The Mabinogion

Oct 182010
 

“Tell me, Circe, who is to guide me on the way? No one has ever sailed a black ship into Hell.”

“Odysseus,” the goddess answered me, “don’t think of lingering on shore for lack of a pilot. Set up your mast, spread the white sail and sit down in the ship.

The North Wind will blow her on her way; and when she has brought you across the River of Ocean, you will come to a wild coast and to Persephone’s Grove, where the tall poplars grow and the willows that so quickly shed their seeds.

Beach your boat there by Ocean’s swirling stream and march on into Hades’ Kingdom of Decay. There the River of Flaming Fire and the River of Lamentation, which is a branch of the Waters of the Styx, unite round a pinnacle of rock to pour their thundering streams into Acheron.

This is the spot, my lord, that I bid you to seek out. Once there, dig a trench about a cubit long and a cubit in breadth. Around this trench pour offerings to all the dead, first with honey mixed with milk, then with sweet wine, and last of all with water. Over all this sprinkle white barley and then begin your prayers to the helpless ghosts of the dead. Promise them that once you are in Ithaca you will sacrifice in your place a barre heifer, the best that you have, and will heap the pyre with treasures and make Teiresias a separate offering of the finest jet black sheep to be found in your flock.

When you have finished your invocations to the glorious fellowship of the dead, sacrifice a young ram and a black ewe, holding their heads down towards Erebus while you turn your own aside, as though about to recross the River of Ocean. Then the souls of the dead and departed will come up in their multitudes and you must bid your men make haste to flay the sheep that that are lying slaughtered by your blade, and burn them up while they pray to the gods, to mighty Hades and august Persephone.

Sit still yourself, meanwhile, with your drawn sword in your hand, and do not let any of the helpless ghosts come near the blood till you have had speech with Teiresias. Presently the prophet himself will come to you, my lord king. And he will lay down for you your journey and the distances to be covered, and direct you home across the fish-delighting seas.”

Circe finished, and soon after the Dawn enthroned herself in gold.

Homer, The Odyssey

Oct 022010
 

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

Ithaka, Constantine P Cavafy

Aug 172010
 

The children and their companions were clinging to what was not even a ledge – just some lucky hand and footholds – on the edge of that abyss, and there was no way out except forwards, along the slope, among the shattered rocks and the teetering boulders which, it seemed, the slightest touch would send hurtling down below.

And behind them, as the dust cleared, more and more of the ghosts were gazing in horror at the abyss. They were crouching on the slope, too frightened to move. Only the harpies were unafraid; they took to their wings and soared above, scanning backwards and forwards, flying back to reassure those still in the tunnel, flying ahead to search for the way out.

Lyra checked: at least the alethiometer was safe. Suppressing fear, she looked around, found Roger’s little face, and said:

“Come now, we’re all still here, we en’t been hurt. And we can see now, at least. So just keep going, just keep on moving. We can’t go any other way than round the edge of this…” she gestured at the abyss. “So we just got to keep going ahead. I swear Will and me’ll just keep on till we do. So don’t be scared, don’t give up, don’t lag behind. Tell the others. I can’t look back all the time because I got to watch where I’m going, so I got to trust you to come on steady after us, all right?

The little ghost nodded. And so, in shocked silence, the column of the dead began their journey along the edge of the abyss. How long it took, neither Lyra nor Will could guess; how fearful and dangerous it was, they were never able to forget.

Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials, The Amber Spyglass

Jul 292010
 

I left myself to journey into the ‘other’ world with full confidence that my meditations thus far would bear fruit and that I had sufficient protection from the force of my guardian angel and the others.

In what seemed to be no time at all I saw my ‘other self’ in the inky void of deep outer space, where I perceived no stars. In the far distance, below me and somewhat to the right, I almost immediately saw a round, golden ‘wheel’ or ‘seal’. I approached it rapidly and soon perceived that certain symbols and/or words/pictures were engraved on the round, golden wheel. At once it rolled to one side, revealing a black hole behind it.

In the next scene I was standing on a high and exceedingly pleasant mountain plateau in pale sunshine and fresh air. There was no sight of the golden wheel and the ‘black hole’, as I now could see, was the perfectly round entrance to a cave in the side of the mountain.

Logic dictated that there was a reason why this should be so. I do not know why – although it was very clear to me at the time – but I felt it was my mission to call forth whichever waiting souls there were therein. As soon as I arrived, therefore, I stood on the edge of the entrance to the cave (having been vehemently warned not to set foot inside) and shouted very loudly through cupped hands:

“PRAY!”

I do not recall whether I repeated this word but before very long – rushing from the very depths of the cave, out from the complete darkness – came a group of identically dressed men of Arab or Indian appearance. Indeed, not only were they identically dressed, in long, white robes with red sashes and red edges on their turbans, but they seemed to me identical in every particular of their appearance.

The body of them – each of slender build and even height with black beards of medium length – came all at once from the cave and rushed into the middle of the plateau. As I turned to follow them with my eyes I saw this to be the most breathtaking panorama, stretching out for what seemed an eternity, facing the gold-hued horizon.

They had each sat down cross-legged and begun to pray with perfect synchronicity. There seemed to be between 30 and 40 of them, arranged into a number of regular rows. I saw then that they were a river springing forth from the mouth of the cave within the sacred mountain.

Jul 232010
 

When the Aeon spoke it said:

“And you that we have loved shall live our dream. Lest the dream should die with the passing of our age it shall be written that destiny has flooded through the gates again of earthly paradise.

In words, thou art free, and satisfied are we that our will to be done is now in place for you to make with us the final journey.

The fortune was our dream and your most dearly beloved did taste the wine of your success, while you helped shape the future with each beating of your heart.

Always shall we remain in your mind as fulfillment for the giving of the dream.

Your gardens has been watered with the tears of earthly love. The muse of ancient melodies, forgotten when the Earth revealed her age, shall resound throughout your place, forever scented with the rose of youth.

With beauty you prayed and we could feel the love which sent homage to our fathomless place.

Whence came your yearning but from memories of the fated realms? Seven styles created in the clouds of starry skies shall be the wonder of elections made through each presiding scion of our race.

Our message is released and comes in time, the light relays the promise and yes, we are certain, the coming shall be quick.

What is seen now on Earth shall be seen again in eternity, the realm of pure being.

From the eyes of every being shines a brilliant and penetrating, silvery white light”.