It was the last day of the Sacred War when I first lay eyes upon the Tagos. I learned that he had come with many horsemen under his command and – together with the hoplites of Cleisthenes – finally razed Crisa to rubble on the Earth. As the cursed polis burned, however, a band of the rebels somehow escaped and stormed up the winding road to Delphi, where they set about slaughtering the saints in their beds.
I was thirteen years old. The saint Timocrates, who escaped the fate of the others while he was tending the holy lantern in the Corycian Cave, snatched me from my chamber and took me for hiding to the secret place of dedication. I saw the fear in his eyes as he spoke. “I must protect the temple. You will remain here, still and silent as a statue, and pray that the God stays with us.”
Then he was gone, leaving me to cower like a new-born goat in the cold, dark place, my only comfort God’s eternal flame as I listened to the sounds of death and destruction crashing like cymbals on the ground above. I do not know how long I was there, only that I moved neither lip nor limb as instructed and hoped the God would protect us, seeing as all else had failed.
I occupied myself with continual prayers to the beloved Deity, King of Light, until I was deep in his hypnotic embrace and did not even notice that the sounds of death progressively ceased, though I knew from the changing light that the sun had risen. When, with an immense clattering of noise – blood splattered but gleaming – a great warrior entered into that sacred space, the first thought to enter my sleep-stilled head was that Apollo himself had come to claim me. So it was that I ran with outstretched palms and tears of joy, right into the arms of the Tagos, my hair flowing like golden rain behind me.
The saints who tutored me were not like this man, who came to me clothed with the sun. He was handsome as only the God could be, that I recall clearly. When I recognised his costume and saw the insignia of Apollo upon his breast I fell into a trance, as if I were already the high priestess. I do not remember if he said a word then, only that he looked at me with a strange light in his eyes as he carried me up to greet the new Dawn.
Then will the sea-priestess, white in the starlight,
Raise up her arms at the moon gliding by,
Sing the enchantment that harnessed the ocean,
Dance in the circles that meted out night.
Sea nymphs are whispering ‘Shayla remember…’
Mesmerised mermaids and undines glide
Deep in the moonlight of hypnotised sailors;
Drawn by the current that governs all tides.
Whispering ‘Shayla, return to your kingdom,
Sister and daughter, rejoice with your kind…’
Shimmering crystal, the doors of the palace
lay on the seabed, beguiling still waters.
She who sells sea shells upon the sea shore,
Walked through the turquoise and paused at the entrance
Looked through the shimmering aqua at kinsmen,
Heard that the voices were soft but relentless.
Soft as the breeze on the salt of the ocean,
Gentle as rustles the wind through the trees,
Whispering over and over her secret,
Meaning; she hailed from the palace of dreams
Stopped at the threshold the fairytale maiden,
Thought of a promise once made in the spring,
Called to remembrance the angel who loved her,
Said: I relinquish the realm of the sea.
Go, little mermaid, they turned away weeping,
As she, the self, was set free and made mortal.
As you lie dreaming of rainbows in summer,
Seeking the memory, then think of this portal.
Sister, oh sister, how sorry we are now…
So went the whispers, the shadows of light.
From the unconsciousness reason found mercy;
Words without doubt put magicians to flight.
Queen of the silver beam, king of all, golden,
Red the blood flowing through milky-white rivers
Bring generation to life in your nature,
Die by the heat but in hope be uprisen.
Light came aurora and pinker than sapphire,
Orange as anything orange is yellow,
Redder than berries of green in the meadow,
Bluer than dawn is, an indigo fire.
Promises, promises, rainbows and birdsong,
Speak of the vow that just cannot be broken
Time has no meaning and space is illusion,
Born is Creation, by God’s word is spoken.
It is different from the sun principle in that the latter works unboundedly, universally (‘the sun shines upon good and evil alike’) which the star principle is an individually concentrated and limited sunlike quality. It differs from the moon principle, however, in that it does not reflect light but rays it forth out of itself. “Stars”, in this sense, are “sun seeds”, sprouting sun corn.
There thus arises a wonderful picture out of a deeper consideration of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand: in the centre, high up on the mountain, Jesus Christ, as the shining and life-giving sun; then the circle of disciples as the silver moon; and round about the mountain a swarm of thousands of stars – the people.
The people, the five thousand, experienced more than the stilling of their hunger; they experience the reality of the hierarchical principle, as it was founded on the fourth day of creation. That is the reason why, after the feeding, the wanted to make Jesus Christ king (john vi, 15).
For during the “sign” they experienced the kingly effects of the cosmic ruling centre point, but interpreted this experience according to the concepts of their ordinary day consciousness in such a way that they said: “Truly this is the prophet that should come into the world” (john vi, 14), and they thought that he should become king in an earthly sense. This interpretation brought the divine cosmic nature of the event down onto the level of human earthly nature. Therefore Jesus “withdrew again into the mountains by himself” (John vi, 15).
Lazarus, come forth! Valentin Tomberg, The Seven Miracle’s of John’s Gospel
‘“Why, pray tell, does noble Hera
Love the clawing, crabby creature?
Why, great Zeus, defend the Lion,
That which tortured all Nemea?
‘“Save me from that curse, Demeter,
Clamp the stinging beast of Ares,
Pluto halt the poisoned creeper.
Show me justice, I should meet her!
‘“By Olympus, I’m surrounded –
Gods, your beasts should all be grounded –
Yet I see my dogs are pining,
Faithful hounds are there compounded.”
‘Hearing truth, the god’s conceding
Forge three glyphs to raise the dog-star
High above. The bane of Thebans
Forms a flame to rival Ishtar.
“Centaur wise, the dearest Chiron,
Help me while away some hours,
Make of wine a crimson fountain,
Thus reclaim the heroes’ mountain.
“Child of Earth and Starry Heaven –
Lake of Memory; shun the cypress!”
From the stream that’s clear as crystal
Drinks Orion, knows he’s timeless.
‘“If I’m made to stand here waiting –
Forced by ties which bind, eternal -”
Hale Orion roars in fury,
“My revenge shall wax infernal!
‘”Long for I the Winter solstice,
When the Sea Goat meets the Sun King.
On that day the horn of plenty
Brims. How long will this event be?
‘“Might of oceans, old Poseidon,
Let the fishes swim beside me?
Lest you grant this one diversion,
I shall die of boredom, nightly.
“Tell me this, as well, oh wise one,
When does Hades mete out mercy,
When young Eros drinks the ocean,
Aphrodite reaches thirty?
‘”Hestia’s hearth is icy cold,
Or Hermes sighs and says, ‘I’m old;’
Hera gives her heart to Echo,
Atlas cries and lets the Earth go?”
‘“Bold Orion, please concede
That Crotus here – who lived and breathed –
Stands there now with arrows poised
To guard your captivated form.
‘“See as well the scales of justice,
Those with which the Lord Anubis
Weighed the souls of those departed,
Measured who should meet Osiris.
“Know thee not the queen of starlight
Calls to time: ‘Stand still, be halted’?
So shall she perform the black rite,
Bring to life the king through deep night?
‘Now Apollo speaks: “Your wisdom
Shines upon a hidden meaning;
You have placed him here with reason
On the font of deeper dreaming!
‘“Might he not recall the last life
When the stars by which you’ve bound him,
Shone upon Egyptian Pharaohs,
Helped them walk the sacred night, free?
“Queen of Egypt’s floodlit delta –
Isis – now returns, defensive.
Sirius picks up the pieces,
‘Fore the dawn can stun his senses –
‘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.”
‘‘Please continue’, thought he mildly,
‘I should know which other Earthling
Might make use of what is given,
Use the soul quite well, be risen.’
‘Hermes needs no more persuasion
Than mere thought from this, the Star-King,
Thus the great magician whispered
More of love, love everlasting.
‘“There’s a soul which doth, your Highness,
Overlay the sound of silence,
One who swayed the final juries
Yet was torn apart by Furies.
‘“One who plucks the deepest heart-string –
Thracian bard of noble standing –
He, who can’t forget his first kiss;
Let him rule the deep, Eleusis?
‘“Mayketh he the sweetest music –
Tames he winds, makes fire of ice –
He should rule with rhyme, not reason,
Seeking, ever, Eurydice.
‘‘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.’