So, we return to the quest.
And turn shining eyes to the south.
Not that we ever left it, yet the churches had definitely ‘fallen off-line’…
Until one particular stained-glass window in Skipton.
It is tempting to think that later traditions lose much that is essential to preceding ones.
In magical traditions derived from the Hebrews, the Archangel Michael is a guardian of the south quarter and if a ‘Michael Window’ is present in a church, it is a relatively safe bet that it will be found on a south wall of that church.
So, why were we charging around St Michael’s, Hathersage, looking at stained-glass windows on the north wall, with such singular precision?
Because we were desirous of another window.
This headlong, wilful charge, bugles blaring, could well have been our undoing, had we been alone.
There was no ‘Michael Window’ in St Michael’s, Hathersage.
But there was this…
“The problem with ‘religious art’ is that whenever you start to enthuse about it people put you down as ‘God Squad’.”
“And then impose their own conception of ‘God’ on you.”
“Which is usually a hideously naive one.”
“I’d be happier with ‘Spirit Squad’.”
“‘The spirit moves where it listeth’.”
“And cannot be tied down by any religious organisation.”
“Saint Michael isn’t a particularly Christain saint, he has his origin in Hebraic magic as an archangel.”
“The notion of sanctifiying an already holy entity is a curious one. Sanctification would normally only be appropriate for a human being.”
“It’s what might be termed an unholy error of hubris, perhaps, and has for it’s champion the ‘Vox populi’.”
“Which in itself is no bad thing.”
“It is not, though, the only mistake people make. They continually objectify when they should subjectify.”
“And they continually subjectify when they should objectify.”
“The depiction of Saint Michael subduing a dragon does not actually refer to any future or past time ‘out there’, but to an inner state which can be achieved by any and all. When it is achieved the ‘out there’ becomes irreversibly changed, for the better.”
“Which might even be described as something of a revelation.”
“Well, it has taken a while, but I think we can be fairly certain that this particular example of the symbolist’s art has something to do with the number eight.”
“‘Fairly certain’? ‘Something to do with’? It is hardly the stuff of science, now is it?”
“Symbolism, by its very nature, is much more than science, and much less too.”
“You are not making much sense.”
“It is open like an ‘art’, but its precision is less focused and more inclusive.”
“I keep wanting to turn it on its head.”
“Which would give us a… mirror!”
“And the ‘S’?”
“Stands for saviour.”
“Or a stream.”
“Which flows underground.”
We commence with a square plot of green grass
which we designate ‘Earth’.
We desire to stretch our boundaries and expand.
This desire seems to manifest most at the pointed corners of our square plot of land.
From here we form four blue circles which take their departure from the innermost being of our ‘Earth’.
We call our circles, ‘Heavens’ and we yearn to reach them.
Naturally, our desire manifests and the ‘Green Earth’ reaches out from its four corners.
It finds that it can touch the ‘Blue Heavens’ from these points.
We link these points in red and regard the shape thus formed as ‘Angelic’ for it mediates between the ‘Heavens’ and ‘Earth’.
The shape formed has eight sides and is known as an Octagon.
Eight can be interpreted as a resonance of unitary division.
Cell mitosis, whereby one cell divides and becomes two,
is an eight stage process.
The notion of a simultaneous end and beginning
is an important one in nature.
It is the principle that underlies periodicity
in the cycles of life and their renewal.
It is the primary principle of eight-ness.
“The really curious thing, is that, from below the Dragon looks quite menacing…
Yet from above, less so.”
In the Great Circle of Time
Progress half way around
And the new becomes the old
Up on a higher arc…
What we now call ‘gods’ or ‘goddesses’,
the ancients’ saw as spirits.
How does one learn to safely cook a poisonous plant?
By many deaths?
Or, by contacting the plant’s spirit and asking?
There is an inevitable circularity to many of our arguments.
For the logician circularity is a death knell.
Logic proceeds in steps along a perceived line, from a perceived beginning, to a perceived end.
For the logician circularity is a flaw.
For cosmos, everything that endures is cyclical.