Tag Archives: interpretation

Angels, Angels, everywhere…

*

“The Elizabethans followed Medieval lines of belief with regard to the angels yet confused, omitted, or misunderstood many of the finer details.”

*

*

“They were convinced that the angels, as agents of ‘pure intellect’, acted as intermediaries between the Super-Being and Man, that like man they possessed free will, but unlike Man the angelic free will never conflicted with that of the Super-Being.”

*

*

“Angels apprehended the Super-Being not by figure or symbol, as Man, but directly, and it was by virtue of this ability that they could act as Man’s guardian.”

Linking the Chain III…

*

“Despite Copernicus, the educated Elizabethan inhabited a geocentric universe whose movements were directed from a fiery, light-filled heaven, situated beyond the fixed stars, by a fiery, light-filled Super-Being.”

*

*

“Between this, the ‘highest-heaven’, and the created universe was an intermediate space containing a number of ‘lesser heavens’ which took the form of spheres whose diameters increased from the moon sphere upwards.”

*

*

“Within this universe there existed a sharp distinction between all that was ‘above the moon’ and hence pure and constant, and all that was ‘beneath the moon’, impure and mutable.”

*

*

“This distinction was brought about by a different mix of Elements in the two regions. The higher, being perfectly balanced, produced a rariefied air which was known as the ether.”

Linking the Chain…

*

“The idea of ‘Creation’s Ladder’ as uniform and consistent must be relinquished.”

*

*

“Many aspects of it could not be compressed into such stricture.”

*

*

“The Four Elements, being inanimate, should, one might suppose, take their place in the chain on a lower level than the ‘lowest’ animate creation.”

*

*

“Yet, the operations of both lower and higher living things were alike compounded in direct relation to the Elements.”

Adoration of the One? III…

*

“As an aid to poesis the Chain of Being works in numerous ways.”

*

*

“It lends life to the notion of an interconnected cosmos without superfluity and raises the dignity of creation by recognising its symbiotic heights and depths.”

*

*

“It fortifies the mystical mind by presenting the ultimate unity as an infinite diversity.”

*

*

“And it offers man a way to ascend beyond his own nature.”

*

*

“Small wonder, then, that it should be regarded as an essential component of the Elizabethan world view.”

 

Adoration of the One? II…

*

“Another curiosity, found in the Chain of Being, held that each class possessed a ‘primate’.”

*

*

“The eagle among birds, the lion among beasts, the king or emperor among men.”

*

*

“Other primacies were the sun among the stars, the stars in the firmament, and the head among the body’s members.”

*

*

“Opinion often wavered. Was the whale or dolphin, both mammals, primary among the fishes?”

*

Adoration of the One?…

*

“It is a curious attribute of the Chain of Being, that it allowed every class to excel, ‘after its own heart’.”

*

*

“Stones may be considered ‘lowly’ but they ‘trump’ the class above them, plants, in both strength and durability.”

*

*

“Plants, in their turn, though regarded as without ‘sense’, excel all other classes in their ability to harness and store, for nourishment, the energy of the sun.

*

*

“The ‘brute beasts’ possess greater physical strength than man and a ‘purer desire of the heart’, and man himself, being imperfect in the realms of knowledge, excels even the angels in his aptitude for learning.”

*

*

Only the angels, by virtue of their own special gift, the faculty of devotion, can never claim to go beyond the ‘class of being’ that stands above them.

*

Circle of Heaven…

*

To find a Black-Bird’s Stone

Laid-by the Snake of Steel City,

Before the Lowly-Ladies House,

Beyond a Blood-Baked Bridge.

O’er stile and up, a rise

Which leads out-the-wood

High, upon a ridge…

At the last tree,

On the Rim of Time

It is the first point

You see.

*

 

Derbyshire’s Green Man…

*

Beyond the forest’s leafy shade,

The hooded one, with giant’s pace

From pinnacle to pinnacle

Leap’t silently, in moonlit grace… 

*

In eremitic solitude

In caverns deep to meditate…

Within, the riddle of the night,

A key that will elucidate…

 *

Beyond the stones, to four once nine

To where the goddess meets her mate

And heavens dance at winters turn

Bends earthwards to illuminate.

*

Old Priest’s Parlour…

*

Where silver trees have bent their bough

O’er sleepy village streets, we go

to solve the riddle of the stones

A scattered presence in a row.

*

To nourish soul and body’s need-

A place where ancient bards ovate,

A haunted landscape sows the seed

For seeker and initiate.

*

A stone that moves, a mount aligned,

And after Glaston’s tower named…

And Bronte’s heroine maligned

Associate of pastor’s fame…

*

The Star of St George…

*

In a green hill,

the hollow green hills,

a dragon sleeps, tonight.

*

The red cross on the white shield of St. George is made up of red scales like the scales of the red dragon that wakes at the foot of St Michael’s Spear.

The red cross on the breast of St. George’s white breast-plate is made up of red scales like the scales of the red dragon whose forked tongue licks the root of St Michael’s Spear.

…And since when did the Archangel Michael become a Saint anyway?

Since the wings from the dragon subdued by St George became the self-same wings unfurling from his shoulder-blades.

Red as blood in the fight the fiery dragon rises

Pinioned and led, fled from earth to pole.

A posited pole that starry spear… arrowed straight to light… eddying out… to and fro… back and forth… body and soul… to soul.

For the sight of the night pole leads to the flight of the light soul.

In passion fled…red to red…unbled.

A bright, spear point fed…

to the dragon, red.

*

In the dark skies,

a hollow dark sky

the dragon sleeps, tonight.