Category Archives: art

Vegetative Soul? …

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The Ancients it seems

Conceived a three-fold

Analogy which linked

Agriculture, Generation and Re-generation.

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These systems were regulated

By the sun, the earth and the moon

Which moved together in cyclical process…

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It was, perhaps, not such

A bad conception, after all.

Mister Fawst! A Magical History…

 

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE

MISTER FAWST – A Doktor of Theology.

SPENSER – His Valet.

ROGER – His Clown.

BLACK AND WHITE – His good and bad Angels.

ACEDIA AND VAINGLORIA – His Children.

CARBS and CHOLES – His Scholarly Friends.

MEPHISTO – A Shady Magician.

VICES AND VIRTUES – X6.

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FIT ONE: CEREMONY

The Vices and Virtues rise, one by one, and speak, in turn:

Ira: Not warlike. Blood-Spilled! Not romantic. Heart-Thrilled! Not adventurous. Action-Filled!

Invidia: Instead, our muse intends to trill it’s heaven-sent verse ‘gainst this…

Luxuria: …Our players willed to shape the Fawstian Fall for well or ill.

Tristitia: We’ll, for him, plead a base-born life to lead: Uphill! So shortly sped and earned divinities title of Theology, a Doktor, learned!

Avaritia: Up and up… he kept on rising, ’til waxen-wings stopped him flying!

Gula: But first, before that flight, is he within an earth-bound state, and study found…

Acedia: There to slake his lack with subtle sorceries, black!

Vanagloria: The Arts of Dark pursuing, all thought for his Soul’s chief-bliss, denying…

The Vices and Virtues remain standing.

Mister Fawst is seated behind his study desk in the East before the Veil of the Beyond. He is writing something with Feather-Quill and Ink on Parchment…

Chime!

Mister Fawst: (pauses and looks skywards)

Mephisto: (from Beyond the Veil) Settle your scores, Fawst, and sound the depths of that which you profess. Come, display your divinity, the balance of all the arts!

Mister Fawst: (showing no signs of having heard Mephisto’s voice, sighs) Ah! (he picks up a tome from his desk and holds it to his chest) Sweet Reason! Oh, how you have ravished my heart!

… to be continued.

Dear Don: Sheaves…

France & Vincent

Nick Birds SE Ilkley 2015 uffington avebury cropton Helmsley 049Dear Don,

Good trip, wasn’t it? Once again time seems to have been obliging and stretched itself to fit with our meanderings. We are going to need to go south again though, with all I am reading about Marden Henge lately. Do you recall me mentioning it some time ago? The site on the line between Avebury and Stonehenge? The excavations are revealing another huge complex.

While I was reading up on it a bit, I came across this pic of a brooch found close by… What would you say at first glance? Early Christian?

v0_master © Wiltshire Museum

Apparently not. It’s a Bronze Age sun disc, dating back around 2,400 years before the Christian era, found in a burial mound none too far from Stonehenge. It just goes to show what we have been saying for a while… the symbols that speak directly to the inner being don’t belong to…

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Dance of Fire and Water: Relations…

‘…As all things are discovered by one,

alone through contemplation,

so all things are born from this one,

alone by permutation…

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… Its father is the Sun,

its mother is the Moon,

the Wind bears it in its belly,

the Earth nurtures it in its heart…’

The Emerald Tablet

Dance of Fire and Water: Tablet…

 

‘In truth, it is certain and without doubt,

that whatever is above tends toward that which is below…

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… And whatever is below tends toward that which is above,

for the accomplishment of the One Perfected Thing…’

The Emerald Tablet

 

Dance of Fire and Water: Planets…

Image result for moon symbol

White represents the Crescent of the Soul:

a vision of the tides of life, their ebb and flow…

Image result for Mars symbol

Red represents Matter over Spirit:

when to act in peace and war, we all must know…

Image result for Mercury symbol

Grey represents Spirit which mediates between Soul and Body:

a communion of truth and wisdom…

Image result for Jupiter symbol - orange

Orange represents Expansion through Wisdom:

and tempers justice with compassion, to protect and to serve…

File:Venus symbol (green).svg

Green represents Spirit over Matter:

acting from love with a generous heart…

Image result for Saturn symbol

Black represents Contraction through Matter:

as the bread of life is sown and reaped…

Image result for Astrological sun symbol - yellow

Yellow represents the Circle of the Spirit:

an outer light and the greater light within…

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Dance of Fire and Water…

Circle – Sun – Spirit

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… After satisfactorily explaining

the nature of the Earthly Realm,

The Alchemists turned their attentions to the stars…

Crescent – Moon – Soul

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To those heavenly bodies

which seemingly ‘wandered’ across the fixed backdrop of the constellations,

they gave the generic name planets,

and held them in especial reverence.

Cross – Earth – Body-Matter

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The symbolic system they developed

to designate the planetary beings

also linked them to the human psyche.

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Magical Elements: Unfurling…

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… Not content with speculations

on the nature of the physical world,

their deductions led the Alchemists to contemplations

of a metaphysical nature…

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If Magical Elements could be transmuted

each into the other

then they must ultimately be equivalent.

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They posited a fifth element

which possessed all the properties of the other four,

and called it the ‘Quintessence’…

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Magical Elements: ‘Alchemy’…

 

 

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To lessen the confusion between Fire and Water

and to accentuate the difference between

Earth and Air,  the Alchemists coloured their symbols…

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… Alchemy is one of the oldest techniques known to mankind.

The Ancient who first cast a weather eye at the heavens,

licked a finger and held it aloft in the sky,

in order to ascertain which way the wind did blow… was an ‘Alchemist’.

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One of the first things the Alchemists noticed about the elements was their mutability…

They seemed to be caught up in an endless round of transmutation,

and were forever striving to become each other.

That apart, they were incredibly stable in themselves, and also incredibly dynamic!

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Small wonder then that the equilateral triangle,

with its base-line and its point,

presented itself as such a fitting symbol of their being.

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These and other observations led the Alchemists to conceive a set of qualities

for the Magical Elements which would  explain their transmutation from one to the other.

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Earth is Cold and Dry… Water is Cold and Moist…

Air is Moist and Hot… Fire is Hot and Dry…

Make Earth Hot to get Fire. Make Earth Moist to get Water.

Earth cannot become Air without first becoming Fire or Water and vice versa.

Similarly, Fire cannot become Water without first becoming Earth or Air and vice versa.

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All of which, upon consideration, is an extremely subtle conception

to be entertained by mere ‘primitives’.

Magical Elements…

Air

Earth

Water

Fire

From such simple devices the ancients sought to traverse the stars

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Most people, if asked, would claim to be familiar with these elements largely because in the physical world they can recognise substances which, today, go by that name.

“I know what earth, air, fire and water are,” they might haughtily declare before moving on to something infinitely more befitting their lofty opinion of themselves.

But they would be wrong.

Nobody knows what the elements are.

We may be able to recognise them and in some instances we may also be able to predict what they will do, how they will operate, what results will follow from their mutual interactions, but we do not know what they are, anymore than we can ever claim to know what electricity is, except, perhaps, in very vague terms…

Electricity is a force of nature which can be harnassed…

The elements are forces of nature which can be harnassed…

So mysterious are these forces that some mystical schools refuse to call them elements at all, referring to them, instead, as principles.

For modern man this mystery is a failing, so it is not accepted and certainly not talked about…

For ancient man this mystery was a joy, embraced with open arms, and became something of a raison d’etre.

The ancients never tired of observing the kaleidoscopic interplay of these forces constantly taking place around them.

Consequently, they discovered some pretty amazing things about them.

They called this study, Alchemy…