Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Do you see what eye see

I started writing this article a little while ago, and thought I'd return here for a respite before going back to war.

After I finished writing The White Heart of the World, the thoughts & feelings that arose at that time stayed strongly with me. A description from Out of Antarctica, the book by Robert Argod around which I based much of that post, stuck in my head.

"A serpent surrounds this cave, engulfing everything with slow but all-devouring jaws; never ceases the glint of his green scales. His mouth devours his back-bending tail as with silent movement he traces his own beginning."

Argod saw this as a description of the sea that flows a thousand times more forcefully than the Amazon River - the sea that encircles the land of Antarctica.
Now I loved this book, but I felt at the time that that description may have been a little too imaginative.

However as the slow digestion of ideas continued, I was reminded of other unlikely transformations.
There was the pole in Matthew Delooze's recent article that changed into a snake under the influence of Ayahuasca and many a shaman tale with similar such transformations & I got to wondering about the whole realm of mythology.

A few weeks ago, as I returned from a walk I nearly stepped on a silver snake. This was quite remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there are no snakes in NZ. I am short sighted, so you can say that I simply saw something that looked like a snake & got a fright, but I can't agree with you on that - for a few moment a silver snake lay coiled before me.
There is a book called The Wish List in which a girl called Meg dies and gets stuck in limbo because her good and evil deeds are perfectly balanced. She gets the opportunity to return to earth and redeem herself.
What I drank in deeply from this tale was the fact Meg could 'see' energy.

"She tried watching TV. But it was no good. Her supernatural eyesight picked out very electron on the screen. Focusing on the pictures took real concentration."

"And the crowd went ape, especially when Cicely Ward dropped a hand over the dapper old gent's shoulder and kissed him back. It was fantastic, stupendous. An ethereal ray of white light exploded from the point of lip contact. It bathed the pores of every man, woman and spirit in the studio. Of course nobody realised that. They just knew that for a single moment everything was better in the world."

We are all schooled in the ways of scientific energy, we all know the mushroom clouds of atomic bombs & we all know what E equals.
But... emotional energy, 'soul' energy, these are the realms for fantasy or imagination.
At this time, in this world we can only 'feel' energy and we use the terms feelings & emotions. Some people experience these energy currents deeply, while others who we may refer to as 'bastards' don't seem to feel them at all.

I've been wondering if we have lost the ability that Meg has in The Wish List. The ability to see energy, and if we could see it how would we describe it?

Shakespeare (or whoever wrote his words) describes very picturesquely the energy of a tyrannical person;
"She speaks poinards, and every word stabs" - a poinyard, of course being a dagger.
Now if we could see that energy, would we perhaps see something akin to shell fire burst from that harpie's mouth, it might be glowing as if red hot. I wonder what we would see when it reached it's target.

If we could see such energy then so much that goes unquestioned & unchallenged in this world would be a thing of the past.

So I've been wondering if our ancestors saw these things that we can't. Not only do we live an incredibly different life to them, we come from generations upon generations of peoples who have been controlled & dominated in one form or another. Are we are so overstuffed with education, chemicals, religion, science, rules, time & fear that we have lost the ability to see what was once visible.

Why should the ancients go to such extraordinary lengths to describe such strange people & events.

Perhaps we've got this round the wrong way. Instead of trying to explain away giant snakes with reasoning we should be seeking to unlock the truth of our mythic inheritance by learning how to see again.

What if an ocean current, really can be viewed as a snake. Just this evening as I browsed through a fantasy picture book I came across a description of a 'Serpentine Sea' and sure enough the artist has depicted an ocean lit by moonlight that creates a serpent-like image. With my overly civilised eyes this is probably as much as I can expect to see.

What if the autumn leaves that are appearing around me are aflame. Looking at the deepening colours I can't help think of a burning bush. What if our eyes have been slowed to one speed? Could it be possible to view life faster or slower & in so viewing, that which is before us would present a different image. If you could watch the seasons in fast motion I expect the trees in Autumn would look like they were on fire. When I play with this idea I can't help seeing the similarity of the phoenix, burning up and being reborn, with a deciduous tree.

We live & move & have our beings in an essentially two-dimensional world. Flat surfaces abound in homes, tvs, computers, roads & books - all the fundamental elements of this world. The media which sucks up so much of our awareness is in effect a one way channel - no participation is required. Actually that really covers it, in this world our participation is not required. We are required to follow the rules & prefabricated lifestyle, but being a part of this world is actively discouraged.

I remember reading somewhere that children raised in round homes ie teepees, develop in quite different ways to those raised behind straight walls.
How might a people who were raised in a world without the longstanding vibrations of repression develop.
A little example.
All of my family apart from my younger brother were born in Ireland. We moved here when I was very young. My brother was born after we had been here several years.
He is different to us.
He has far more of the kiwi about him, he is taller, more rugged in appearance, outdoorsy, sporty. I can't quite put my finger on it but there is a difference. I would say he absorbed the energy of this land and that it flows through him.

What was the energy of the land like when the myths & the legends were born. I really do not think that we are not living in that energy now.

I have a feeling that if we could return to storytelling we could regain some of our vision. I am quite sure that stories, myths & legends are meant to be heard not read.
For many y-ears now I have taken my stories in audio form. Initially as a mother at home with a young child, they were dear friends who warmed many a lonely day. I don't know how to describe the multi-sensory delight of having someone read you a story. It is an intimate & sensual experience because listening is intimate & sensual, the music industry would not wield the power it does if this was not so. I know I cannot listen to someone whose voice does not please me.

This world now is very visual, our others senses take a back seat. I have read that many of the US presidents of old would have a hard time getting elected these days because of their unsavoury appearances.

We think we see, but do we really? Perhaps if we started 'seeing things' that would be a sign that we were getting our vision back.
When Neo asked Morpheus in the Matrix why his eyes hurt the answer was "because you have never used them."

If energy can't be lost, only transformed, then is it possible that our vision was transmuted into a different form. Could the plants used by shamans to stimulate vision, in actual fact be our lost sight in a different form. Taking this a step further, could both the emergence of life forms & the extinction of others be directly linked to either our re-animation or our shutting down of innate abilities. I'm not suggesting we are the only important species, but we do seem to be fundamental to the direction the future takes.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Sacrifice (Part 1)

Last September I spent five days in the heart of Sydney.

Early every morning I walked for what seemed like miles. I was taken aback by the symbolism of that city, the statues, buildings & artwork. I did not have a camera with me, but then I was not expecting the life changing experience it turned out to be.

I was reading Matthew Deloozes 'Is it me for a moment', and his descriptions of extracting respect & energy were most enlightening.  One place in particular resonated very loudly - Hyde Park. For five nights I slept beside this park, in a room from the Matrix -Room 303.

Around the perimeters of Hyde Park (named after the original in London), are such prestigious buildings as The Supreme Court of New South Wales, St Mary's Cathedral, St James's Church, The Downing Centre, Hyde Park Barracks & the Australian Museum.

On my second morning walk I was ambling through Hyde Park when I drew up sharply at what I first took to be a huge brown slug with a devil's head. It turned out to be the Minotaur with Theseus posed ready for action. It apparently represents sacrifice for the good of humanity.

This pair is part of the Archibald Fountain, unveiled in 1932. The fountain also includes Diana avec deer & a youth portraying the good things of the earth. Atop the design is Apollo, looking for all the world like he is giving a Nazi salute.

A 1940 black & white photo shows the full symbolic placement, the eastern side leading directly to St Mary's Cathedral. A sunburst, though not visible here, is set in the pavement around the hexagonal pond.

Most Internet sites I've checked out, sing the praises of this fountain, I found it oppressive & sinister, but I may just be imaginative. Nevertheless it aroused in me a curiosity about the rest of the park.
Running in a southerly direction from the 'devil slug' is the Avenue of Figs. This path leads in a straight line to the south end of Hyde Park where the ANZAC Memorial resides (officially opened 1934). ANZAC stands for Australia & NZ Army Corps, most notably made famous at the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915.

I visited this memorial twice. The first time I went alone.
A notice on the steps informs, in no uncertain terms that it is an offence to sit or loiter on the steps. This irked me, for surely a memorial is for contemplation. Suitably hastened, I entered the Hall of Silence and noted what looked like an Egyptian design on the wall. There was an ornate balustrade in the centre so I went to see what I could see.

What I saw was 'The Sacrifice' & it repulsed me.
"The Hall of Silence is designed in such a way that visitors are compelled to look downwards, causing their heads to be reverently and naturally bowed”, in other words you are forced to pay respect to this symbol whether you like it or not... I am happy to honour people who gave their lives for what they believed in – but I have never pictured them looking like this.

Apparently this is art, so it is to be seen subjectively. You of course, will make up your own mind. It is indeed symbolic, but of what. My subjective soul was certainly moved. For me this remains the most blatant symbol I have ever experienced of the 'darkness' that seems to run this show that we call life. To me it symbolises the expendability & sacrificial value of the human being - you & me. If you are at all familiar with Australians or Kiwis you would never, never visualise or depict them like this.
Antennae twitching, I walked down some steps near the head of the figure and came face to inverted face with The Sacrifice.

Sorry I can't post this image but this link will take you straight there.,0.jpg&imgrefurl=

The words at my feet said "Let silent contemplation be your offering" - had I not been so disquieted I'd have been more inclined to offer an expletive.
"The main focus of the interior is a monumental bronze sculpture of a deceased youth, representing a soldier, held aloft on his shield by three female figures, representing his mother, sister and wife. The male figure's nudity was considered shocking at the time of the monument's opening, and it is said to be the only such representation of a naked male form within any war memorial." Actually it is linked with the naked figures at the other end of Hyde Park in the Archibald Fountain - at their time the only public naked statues. If viewed as Greek mythological figures the nakedness is no longer out of place.

"The use of the female forms as a archtectural support is known as a caryatid. The Greek term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyae", an ancient town of Pelpponnese. Karyai had a famous temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis." Back at the Archibald Fountain Diana/Artemis comprises one of the three arms of the fountain.

Later that day I took along my fourteen year old son for an objective appraisal.

He did not like ‘The Sacrifice’ at all, but was interested in seeing the relic room on the ground floor, a glass pyramid being visible from the balustrade upstairs in the Hall of Silence (the Sacrifice's right hand indicates it's direction).

We had only been there about a minute when a guy behind the desk boomed out (like an army sergeant) that it was 11.00am and time for the daily commemorative service. Loud music boomed and we were ordered (there's no other word for it) to face east… maybe this is standard practice, but I have never come across it before and coupled with the revulsion I felt for that place I took off as fast as possible – something inside me refused outright to be a part of what I felt was going on there. My poor son followed with great embarrassment.

Such was the feeling of doing something 'illegal', I was half expecting someone to come after us and arrest us or give us a hell of a dressing down. While this may sound like exaggeration, I can only say that the feeling of repulsion & unease has remained with me & has led directly to my 'coming out of the looney closet' & creating this blog.

I talked with my son this evening to check that he was happy to be quoted. He made some further interesting remarks. He said that he thought the statue was sadistic, and if he died at war he would not want to be remembered like that. He would want to be remembered as a hero and have a movie made about him. He also said that a sacrifice means that your death is chosen by someone else, whereas if you choose to die for yourself or a mate, then that is heroism.

In the past few weeks my attention has been repeatedly drawn to ANZAC symbolism. There is a memorial near me on a busy intersection, I have driven past it many times & thought it was simply an architectural monument. Just a few weeks ago I had cause to wait for my son close by so thought I'd have a look. I'm presuming as I write this, that, in true Bill & Ted style I will, in the future (which will be later on today) pick up my camera & take the picture that will appear below.

Ominous looking black banners with big red poppies also started appearing a few weeks ago & books have been laid out reverently at the library. Combined with my memories of the Hyde Park memorial I felt that something was urging a closer look.
Having been thoroughly immersed in Gallipoli for some time now, I'm very pleased at last to be able to get some of this out of my system because it has made me heart sick.

Gallipoli was an eight month campaign that started on 25th April 1915. For Kiwis & Ozzies this is our Remembrance Day. In this part of the world the 11th November can slip by unremarked.

From an eight month campaign a legend was born that in a sense created two nations identity. Personally I feel this is stronger with Australians than New Zealanders.

The hype surrounding this day seems to be increasing with each passing year. This year footage of Gallipoli has been restored (by none other than Peter Jackson) & is being played in true ritualistic style on the three nights leading up to the 25th. The giant screen being used is the front wall of the Auckland Museum.

It has even become customary for thousands of Australians & New Zealanders to make a pilgrimage to Gallipoli.

I do not like war, and previously I have not focused my attention on it. I had a basic understanding of Gallipoli as a defining point in our history, something to be proud of. The words 'epic' and 'heroism' are synonymous with it. In the eyes of the world we 'did good'.

But the more I've looked, the less good I feel. The Sacrifice started a chain of thought that came full circle when I looked closely at Gallipoli. So here goes.

I believe Gallipoli was a symbolic reenactment of Troy & a huge symbolic sacrifice.

I can't tell you why & I can't prove it, but that's no reason not to set spinning wheels in motion.

There seems to be a general consensus that Troy existed and that it's ruins are close by the Dardennelles, the setting of the Gallipoli 'camapaign' or shall we say 'siege'.

I have come to the conclusion that whether or not something happens in 'reality' is less important than whether or not it has taken root in our psyche. This is my personal opinion & allows me to follow threads that might otherwise get snipped.

I'm not going to go into the mechanics of the siege, I'll give you a link at the end if you're interested. We'll just see if we can see where the seams of the story have come loose, and have a look underneath.

First off lets look at the creation of the ANZAC 'legend', for most assuredly it is one.

It was an English war correspondent who almost single-handedly gave birth to the myth. Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett was in Gallipoli for the landing on the 25th April. His dramatic accounts, the first to be published in the Australian press, stirred the blood of those 'back home'.

“They waited neither for orders nor for the boats to reach the beach, but, springing out into the sea, they waded ashore, and, forming some sort of rough line, rushed straight on the flashes of the enemy’s rifles.”


"There has been no finer feat in this war than this sudden landing in the dark and storming the heights, and, above all, holding on while the reinforcements were landing. These raw colonial troops, in these desperate hours, proved worthy to fight side by side with the heroes of Mons, the Aisne, Ypres and Neuve Chapelle."

Later in the campaign we are told he became increasingly critical of those in charge and wrote a letter to Asquith the Prime Minister. Apparently this letter was intercepted in France & never delivered, and Ashmead-Bartlett was given his marching orders.

The history books says that his outspoken comments led to the dismissal of the commander-in-chief, Sir Ian Hamilton and the eventual withdrawal of troops.

All this only gives a nice edging to the heroic tale, but I have not been comfortable with it. How come if the letter to Asquith was destroyed we find it's transcript in the above link. OK maybe he made a copy, but he's a writer, and knows he can write something similar & most probably better if called upon again.

I just keep getting a niggly itch about the whole mythic creation of what actaully was an extended slaughter.

Lets get on.

The ANZAC's developed an almost god-like dimension with descriptions of their tall bronzed bodies & gung ho attitude, and indeed many were taller than their European counterparts. Wafts of epic poems seem to hang in the air ...'into the valley of death rode the six hundred'.

The tale of youthful heroes & tragic death. Stirring stuff indeed. And what fabric would we use to line the coffins of these boys had they not been left to rot where they fell. Why something beautiful of course because this battlefield is named for beauty.

Gallipoli comes from the ancient Greek Kallipoli which means 'beautiful city'. The word Kalli means beautiful and it is one of our links to Troy.

It started with a woman & an apple. Doesn't it always?

Eris, the goddess of discord, angered at being left off the guest list for the wedding of Peleus & Thetis, threw a golden apple onto the floor at their wedding reception. Upon the apple was the inscription KALLISTI (for the fairest one). Hera, Athena & Aphrodite all thought they should have it, so it was decided that a wee shepherd lad called Paris would have the deciding vote. Aphrodite's bribe of Helen made her the winner & set the siege of Troy in motion.

I've never quite figured why these women are so attracted to apples.

At the base of the Gallipoli peninsula is Cape Helles, where Helle is said to have fallen to her death fleeing from yet another destructive female.

In 482 BC, King Xerxes of Persia had two bridges built across the Dardanelles between the Greek cities of Abydos and Sestos to carry his invading army into Greece. In 332BC, the army of Alexander the Great set off across the Straits on the trail of conquest which led him to India.

The crossing from Abydos to Sestos is also where Leander swam nightly across the current to his lover, Hero (a title used without restraint when referring to the ANZACs). When one night she failed to leave a light in her tower to guide him, he drowned. Finding his body next day, she threw herself into the waters and joined him.

Such is the setting for our legend, where beauty & the death of youth go hand in hand in the ancient Greek ideal of heroism.

I would suggest that the apple of discord for the second siege of Troy was lobbed by England when she confiscated two warships that had been commissioned by Turkey (but built in the UK). The money was handed over & a ceremony due to take place when the British declared that the ships had been requisitioned. No compensation was offered.

On 5th November 1914 Turkey allied herself with Germany, the same day & Britain & France declared war on her. Two days prior to this the allies had indulged in a little gunpowder plotting themselves with some preliminary bombarding to the entrance to the Dardenelles.

Wherever I have looked at this story I find apparent poor planning, much stopping short of victory, lack of leadership and criminal stupidity. Into my mind has crept a nasty feel of stage-managed defeat.

The other day I was part of a surreal incident. I add it here because I believe it is meant to be a part of this narrative. I have been walking my sister's two dogs for the last few days while she is on holiday. The youngest, Maya is a border collie, & fast as lightening. The first day I took her out she was very interested in a hedgehog huddled in the long grass, I figured it would be fine. The next day, she found the hedgehog again, only this time I realised it was dead, and judging by the smell as she picked it up and ran off with it, it had been for some time. I'm grateful my son was with me, but the resultant chase is not one I will easily forget. It was thoroughly revolting & yet we laughed at the hideousness of it - a way to deal with it I guess. It was only yesterday that I realised how like Gallipoli the bush tracks where I take them walking must be. With their bleached white clay paths and the blue green sea visible through the scrub. Then I remembered the rotting corpse of the hedgehog and how horrible that one rotting body was.

The beautiful coast of Gallipoli was herself bloated with rotting corpses. There is such a discrepancy between the tales told and the experience. It is not heroic to see images of naked men picking lice out of their clothes, or hearing tales of drinking seawater because of desperate thirst.

Sister Alice Kitchen who was onboard the hospital ship Gascon at Gallipoli wrote:

"To leave injured soldiers in the blazing sun for days without dressing their wounds or giving them water is mass murder. Our poor boys. If only the world knew how badly they are treated."

A banned account of the campaign included the following;
"Other taboo topics were the lack of drinking water, the stench of rotting corpses which were breeding grounds for flies which spread dysentery and typhoid, and the lack of lavatory paper at the latrine pits, topics blue-pencilled out of letters home..."

For for full transcript go here;

The historical cleansing of Gallopili is not something a great deal of people are aware of. The prevailing feel is one of national pride & a staunch belief that the blood of these soldiers somehow created a base for our nations. This is not ok. How much resentment & heartache & fear & desperation is generated on a battlefield and where does it go. If we hold to a myth instead of truth we become accomplices.

I recalled an episode from Sapphire & Steel, an amazing & frightening tv programme from my childhood. I felt that it touched upon an issue seldom looked at, the energy surrounding needless death.

"At a disused railway station, the Darkness is feeding upon the resentment of people who have died prematurely. These include a WWI private blown up on Armistice Day, three workers suffocated in an experimental submarine and a pilot killed one flight from being demobbed. Together with an old ghost-hunter called Tully, Sapphire and Steel attempt to contact the beings. Sapphire is taken-over by the Darkness and tries to kill Steel with a bunch of flowers! Steel finds himself trapped in barbed wire on a battlefield. Time is advanced twelve days and Steel offers a bargain to the Darkness conditional to it returning time to its proper course and freeing its victims. It accepts the last few years of Tully's life. This makes Time itself resentful thus providing the energy the Darkness needs".

I've been a wondering if when two emotion soaked versions of an event coexist can this create some sort of split in the energy fields of the world and is this on purpose. I don't think anyone would doubt the energy generated by Rememberance Days, and this energy is cultivated in both hemisphere's in the Fall.

Sifting through the internet I have come across others who noted the similarity between Troy & Gallipoli.
The poet Rupert Brooke who actually died en route to the Dardanelles, linked his pending experience with those of Homer’s heroes;

They say Achilles in the darkness stirred ...
And Priam and his fifty sons
Wake all amazed, and hear the guns,
And shake for Troy again.

Welsh scholar & poet Patrick Shaw-Stewart felt an ominous sense of 'deja-vu at the association-saturated spots'

I saw a man this morning
Who did not wish to die;
I ask, and cannot answer,
If otherwise wish I.

Fair broke the day this morning
Against the Dardanelles;
The breeze blew soft, the morn's cheeks
Were cold as cold sea-shells.

But other shells are waiting
Across the Aegean Sea,
Shrapnel and high explosive,
Shells and hells for me.

O hell of ships and cities,
Hell of men like me,
Fatal second Helen,
Why must I follow thee?

Achilles came to Troyland
And I to Chersonese:
He turned from wrath to battle,
And I from three days' peace.

Was it so hard, Achilles,
So very hard to die?
Thou knowest and I know not -
So much the happier am I.

I will go back this morning,
From Imbros over the sea;
Stand in the trench, Achilles,
Flame-capped, and shout for me.

The other day I was deeply moved by a photo of a statue of a Turkish officer carrying a wounded Australian soldier. I had read that there had indeed been such incidences.

I mentioned to my father that I was writing this article and he said to me "you know my Uncle Harry was at Gallipoli. He was lying wounded in a ditch when a Turkish soldier found him. As he lay there expecting to die the soldier took off his backpack with his rations in it and laid it down beside him and walked away". His uncle would never talk of his experiences and it was only through his brother, my grandfather that the story was known.

I don't know how I did not know this story, maybe I forgot. Had my father or his uncle been an ANZAC it would be something special, but he was Irish. There were many nationalities at Gallipoli but the legend is tied to the ANZACs, the untried & heroic 'virgin' soldiers.

There is much more to this than can be told in one sitting, so I have called this Part 1.

In six hours it will be dawn here, and as the dawn parades happen across the country I shall post this article as a tribute to the beauty of Truth, I think the greatest need we have at this time.

Additional 26th April:

I forgot to add a link to a more detailed explanation of Gallipoli. Here is a link which shows how seriously ANZAC day is taken

Some excellent images of ANZAC memorial inside & out

Wikipedia on Gallipoli

Sunday, April 20, 2008

by George!

There has been some mention of the Order of the Knights of the Garter lately on both Aferrismoon's blog & my own.

Comments posted on an article at Thuther Thoughts yesterday mention the pomp & ceremony of the Pope's USA visit. Actually before I go on any further, I have to say wtf... after years of regulation guilt & self-denial as proclaimed by the Catholic church, never did I think I would see the day where 'our great leader' would become a 'movie star' . It is only recently that I have come to honour a long stay in hospital, many years ago for the de-programming opportunity that it was - I never went back.

To return to the point, the comment about the Pope mentioned his meeting with 24 survivors from 911. My mind skipped sideways, and I recalled that the Order of The Knights of the Garter are limited to a maximum of 24 members. This order is one of the most prestigious of it's kind in the world. A huge amount of pomp & ceremony is attached.

The 'Georginess' (read Saturn) of this order is extraordinary - the patron saint is George, it's spiritual home is St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle & on St George's Day (23 April) new Knights & Knightesses are named.

Not to mention all members are... "required to assemble at Windsor on the eve of the feast day. The Knights and Ladies put on the mantle of the Order and the Greater George and go to St George's Chapel for a service of thanksgiving. They then sup at the Dean's House. On St George's Day, the members attend a lunch in the Waterloo Chamber
Then all go in procession to the Chapel for service wearing the full robes of the Order, including black velvet hats with white plumes, and any new members are installed. On the day after, the mantle only is worn. The Garter itself is worn throughout. The Greater George must be worn on all official holidays, on Ascension Day, at the funeral of a member of the Order, and when a member of the Order is created a Peer."

See here for full story - though personally I recommend just reading first few paragraphs & then looking at the pictures.

If you just want to look at pictures (& I quite understand) go here

With St George's Day looming on the horizon and a heck of a lot of pomp & ceremony spreading across the world I suggest a brisk climb up to the crows nest.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wonderful Weavers

I have come to think of those who daily work towards creating what is as yet unknown, as 'weavers'. There is a band of merry (I hope) crafters that spans this world and I am constantly awed by the texture and colours that keep emerging.
I am reminded of a fairytale that I love.

I offer it to all who read this with thanks.
I wish I had the beautiful book from my chilhood, but this will have to do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The effect of the media, at least on me, was brought home very sharply this morning as I caught the tail end of the news as I arrived at work.
Six teenagers & their teacher on an outdoor education trip have been killed while canyoning. I feel gutted and close to tears, while on the other hand hearing about the fire (see previous post) days after the event left me unmoved. Driving to work this morning I was actually constructing a comment on this to add last night's post, as I was worried it may have sounded flippant.

The students aged 16-17 were part of a 40-strong group on an outward bound river trip with the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre near Turangi, in the North Island.
Finding Edmund Hillary turning up yet again has somehow added to the distress.

So one dead and seven injured in a fire & another seven dead in a flood.
Are we looking at events called up by the dark ritual carried out in the willing town of Wellington over the equnox. I think so.

Would you like some crackers with that?

I have noticed the moon looming large in a number of articles lately and felt a strange lunar tug myself today.
A few days ago I wrote briefly about a recent fire here, in the city of Hamilton.
Being a conscientious objector to the soap opera known as the 'News', information tends to take a more leisurely route on it's way to my ears, normally arriving 1-2 weeks later - hence the delay.

This fire strongly resonates with 911 because of the toll taken on the unsuspecting firefighters and the enormous explosion that sent a 2000km/h blast wave through the area.

In a bizarre twist today and feeling as if I'm in some 'lune-y' folk story, I find that like the moon, the fire was made of cheese.

I felt compelled to do some digging.

The alchemical transformation of the moon into 'greene cheese' took place in 1546 when John Heywood, who was the grandfather of John Donne, declared it thus in his Proverbes.

The art of cheese making may date back as far as 8000BCE.

In Greek mythology, Aristaeus was credited with the discovery of cheese as well as of bee-keeping. The bee, bee-ing a potent symbol of the feminine takes us sweetly back to the moon, perhaps even the honeyed-moon.

Artemis was the virgin huntress and twin of Apollo. She became identified with & then supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon. This huntress was often depicted carrying a bow and arrows, and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her.

Seven days after the Great Fire of Cheese, the body of a 17 year old Chinese youth was found floating in the Waikato River that flows through Hamilton.
His name was Tianye Lu.
Tian = "heaven, heavens, god or gods & is one of the oldest Chinese terms for the cosmos."
YE= "bright."
Lu= "deer"
A name that surely evokes Artemis (& a very sad end for one so young.)

Artemis' temple at Ephesus was also destroyed by fire, arson infact. On 21 July 356, the flames rose, perhaps heralding the arrival of the 'Madman of Macedonia', the day before on 20 July.

By following these threads I had come unexpectedly back to Edmund Hillary, who shares a birthday with the above mentioned Macedonian.

And the threads got sweeter with this:

"Honey also played a central part in the New Year rituals of the Minoans. The Cretan New Year began at the summer solstice, when the heat was at its greatest, and 20 July was the day when the great star Sirius rose in conjunction with the Sun, as it did also in Sumeria and Egypt."

And another sweet thread that leads us back to the poles of the Earth with Artemis who is associated with bear worship and in particular the Great She-Bear, Ursa Major, ruler of the stars and protectress of the axis mundi, Pole of the World.

Last but not least we can return to -
the creator of the milk,
that was turned into cheese,
that started this post,
that I wrote.

Who can forget that surreal nursery rhyme about the cow that jumps over the moon, perhaps checking up on the quality of the cheese or on a visit to the Bear.

I leave you with a few lines from the musical 'Mame' as I alchemically transform myself from a waking person into a sleeping person.

The man in the moon is a lady,
A lady in lipstick and curls;
The cow that jumped ovah cried, "Jumpin' Jehovah,
I think it's just one of the girls."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Feeling on top of the world

Apologies to the Lady Antarctica for her absence from this map, but it made me smile. I hadn't realised just how effective the religion of the 'north' has been in creating in me a sense of isolation from the rest of the world.
For more info see

My thanks to Ben Emlyn-Jones for bringing this to my attention.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The White Heart of the World

Over the past couple of months a thread has loomed across across my path and as I love threads, I have followed it. It leads to Antarctica and it is a journey I encourage you to take.

We won't sail on the HMS Logic, because we'll only get seasick. We'll go by flights of fancy, grasping hold of mythical tails.

The navigator is not with us any more but he left directions. Robert Argod (a name fitted for mythology surely) passionately dedicated 40 years of his life to produce the manuscript for 'Out of Antarctica', the book I have just finished reading. He had an incredible knowledge of myth & was a master mariner (ah, did that get your attention?)

Through my previous post on Erebus, there awoke in me a passion for Antarctica. I decided to continue my searching, something did not feel right, something about the scientific interest in it and at the same time how little attention is called there, how quiet it is. I live in one of the closest countries in the world to this continent, but it is seldom mentioned. Attention is always directed 'up, up, up' to the rest of the world - America, Europe, China, Russia - they're all 'up'. Even on many world maps you don't see her, she's 'the invisible woman'.

So all hands to the spinning wheel.

What if the peoples of the world unravelled from Antarctica.

Argod, a name so reminiscent of Asgard, spun his own rainbow bridge from the 'frozen continent' to the islands of the Pacific. He wondered, as other's have done before, where do the peoples of the Pacific come from?

Now, this is not a book review, I can only highly recommend it. Argod captured my interest with his daring ideas & passion for Antarctica & because on the second page he brilliantly linked NZ (my home) with Easter Island & Hawaii, the two very places I was passionately drawn to last year.

Here was the first time I had come across a wholesome view of Antarctica. Published works on this continent cover topics of conquest, discovery, last frontier, scientific research, media hype visits & loads of 'informative' books for kids. A sort of on going autopsy. My son & I laughed at a picture of two puffed up researchers counting seals, OK I'm not an 'ologist', but the seals had a sort of 'F... off look', and for god's sake, they're murdering them up north.

So lets cast off or on depending on whether you prefer sailing or weaving..

What if the very roots of civilisation came from Antarctica, yes what if even the Ancients came from there. What if the creation & catastrophe myths that are so consistent throughout the world are talking about this place. What if she is the Motherland and what if one or more great cataclysms caused her to move to the position she is in now and make her peoples to flee to all corners of the world.

I am not a scientist, I am a wonderer. I wonder a lot & if a light goes on inside while I ponder then I follow it. Well the lights are blazing. Could Argod be right, I don't know, but 'strange things are afoot at the polar circle'.

The ice is breaking away from Antarctica & each year a huge hole in the ozone layer appears over her. If the heart of the planet was located here, does this equate to a thawing of the heart and can this be related to the thawing of the human heart that is taking place at this time. Alternatively, I am reminded of the monks tonsure located at the crown of the head, the seventh chakra - could the ozone hole be the tonsure of the world, allowing freer flow of energy to the chakras of Earth.

Give me a myth to a newspaper tale any day. And there's so many myths with such similar themes. Catastrophic devastation, flood & fire, destruction of mankind and cold & dark.

Argod gives historical & mythical examples from peoples & civilisations around the world. I have been making my own way through creation myths for children (well they're easier to read & I like the pictures). The Hawaiians refer to the land of their ancestors as a land of cold & shivering. Lolofonua, for Tongans, was 'a vast land situated in the nether regions of the lower hemisphere, surrounded by dark waters of the ocean'. This area was also referred to as the 'earth beneath' or the 'underworld'.

So that leads to more wondering. There's Niflheim ("house of mists") of Norse Mythology, a region of icy fogs and mists, darkness and cold. It has always been believed to be in the north, yet the description is given thus 'It is situated on the lowest level of the universe. The realm of death, Helheim is part of the vast, cold region. Niflheim lies underneath the third root of Yggdrasil, The World Tree - note the downward direction (my emphasis). Helheim is the abode of the dead and fits very nicely with the description of Hades, even having it's own 'hound of hell', Garm.

I wondered about Persephone, she's been popping up a lot for me lately. I wondered about the six months of winter, God I love wondering. What if the abduction of Persephone equates to the abduction of the sun for six months, at the south pole. After all, as Argod asserts, there must have been something very significant to create such monumental stories, and nothing could be more monstrous for humans than the loss of the sun. If such a thing happened it would be emblazoned on the psyche of humanity, and the fear that it could happen again would lead to all types of entreaty. Here perhaps would be a very potent reason for centuries of sacrifices to 'the sun'. Even the Egyptian images of the sun travelling in a barque could be explained by a sun that seems to travel close to the ocean "the course of this infant Sun assumes more & more strength each day, after the spring equinox, and daily hovers up and down just above the horizon, like a ship."

In history, Antarctica has not been a mystery to everyone. A map dating back to the first Babylonian dynasty indicates a land "where the sun no longer rises." The Piri Re'is map pretty well known now, but there are a number of other maps that are too accurate to be lightly dismissed as guesswork.

The Saint Isidore of Seville Map includes lines which translate to 'where the heat of the sun is unknown to us'

I thought again about Erebus (see previous post), and I wondered if her naming might not have been so haphazard after all. What if like Columbus, Ross knew where he was going and what he was going to find and name. The mythic descriptions of an underworld at the the bottom of the world fit Antarctica very well indeed. There is more wondering to be done here.

For a frozen wasteland there sure is a hive of activity down there, lots of scientists doing sciency things apparently. Bases, bases everywhere.

It's pretty much off limits to the rest of us, but luckily there are documentaries & books to save us the trouble. If Antarctica was the land of the creation myths, and that fact was known, then it would be very much sought after by science, and information to the general public ie. you & me, would be kept to a minimum. To deter questions or thinking for oneself, we would be reminded of it's inhospitable conditions through the rumour grapevine, er sorry the media via new-stories and movies like Disney's 8 Below.
While there is a tremendous cohesive quality to mythology from cultures all around the globe we have lacked that same cohesion in our actual history. Humanity seems such a disjointed race, I wonder if a joint homeland that belongs to no one would in some way be freeing.

While reading Argod's books I have had moments of that flicker of joy, the one you get when you're falling in love. Was it a deep psychic memory or wishful thinking, or a symbol of the 'home' I seek...I can't say. Nor could I be satisfied with a geographical address as 'the answer', I leave that to the realm of the half-hearted religion known as science.

For myself, and anyone else who wishes it, I seek the thirst-quenching spiritual dew that is missing from this world. I believe it is trying to return, re mingle, & reinvigorate all creation - maybe it is here already trapped and frozen at the bottom of the world.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fire & Ice

Just a few short weeks after the fire ceremony ROCK2WGTN in Wellington, which I feel has some connection to Antarctica, comes a huge fire at the Ice-Pack Factory in Hamilton, North Island, NZ.

Across the world in Canada, is another fire in another Hamilton

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Life & Death of a Titan

In Nepal he was known as "burra sahib" or "big man"
NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark called him a "colossus"
Actor Brian Blessed called him a "kind of titan"

Edmund Hillary, the man who escaped death on Mt Erebus in 1979 has come strongly to my attention today, and refuses to leave.
Lying on the lunch room table at work, the front page of the New Zealand Herald looked more sinister than usual. In a black border was a large picture & write up of a memorial that took place yesterday, April 2nd for him at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Helen Clark, the New Zealand Prime Minister, said of the Queen and Sir Edmund: "They shared a history" and you know what, I think they did.
The more you look at the life of this man and the coincidences and the fascinating numerological echoes, the more it appears that his life was playing to someone else's tune.

Way back in 1953 in an extraordinary feat of 'good luck', news of his momentous climb reached London on the eve of the Queen's coronation.
He was 33 years old. The knighting of Hillary was one of the Queen's first official activities.

But what is a knighthood - is it a gift or is it the staking of a claim?

Edmund Hillary was born for greatness for he shared his birthday with Alexander the Great - 20th July.
This was also date man landed on the moon (apparently).
On the darker side it was the date of the Hyde Park & Regents Park bombings & the day Hitler survived an assassination attempt (July 20 Plot).

Other titles were bestowed on Mr Hillary throughout his life.
He was made a member of the order of New Zealand in 1987.

and a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 22 April 1995

Yesterdays memorial tribute on April 2 was also the birthday of another historical great - Charlemagne.
The 'tribute' included the laying up of Sir Edmund's Knight of the Garter banner, when it is returned to his family'. "The patron saint of the Order of the Garter is St George and as he is the patron saint of soldiers and also of England, the spiritual home of the order has therefore always been St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle'"(Wikipedia).

Ellis Taylor tells us that George is a codename for Saturn.
Returning to Everest's South Col camp on May 29, 1953 Hillary famously greeted another member of the British expedition group with the words:
"Well, George, we've knocked the bastard off."
The 'bastard' in question, Mt Everest, is known by another name to those who live in her surrounds, 'Quomolangma' - 'The Goddess Mother of the Earth'.
Was the Goddess Mother claimed for Saturn's followers that day in 1953? I believe Hillary was all he appeared to be, but that doesn't stop other's claiming ownership of his work.

During a 1952 trip in the Alps, Hillary discovered he and his friend George Lowe had been invited for the approved British 1953 attempt on Mt Everest and immediately accepted. Eric Shipton, with whom he had climbed previously was named as leader but was then replaced by John Hunt. Hillary considered pulling out, but both Hunt and Shipton talked him into remaining. I had always presumed Hillary was one of the front men on this climb.
In an amazing coincidence, John Hunt was also made a Knight of the Order of the Garter and also died aged 88 (on 8 November 1998).
History certainly has a habit of repeating itself n'est pas?
His story makes interesting reading.

The Goddess Mother of the Earth is claimed to be 8848m in height.
The number 8 also appears with reference to another 'honour' awarded to Hillary.
The Polar Medal is an octagonal medal awarded for the endurance of hardeship in Arctic / Antarctica. A total of 880 silver Polar Medals have been issued.

Oh, and according to every source I could find, except wikipedia, this titan stood at an impressive 6 foot 2 inches or 1.88m.

Hillary was a bee keeper. Bees are considered a symbol of the Goddess or Divine Feminine. Was the Goddess of the Earth tricked that day into allowing the honeyed one to pass, and thereafter was her sovereignty claimed by the Saturnalian powers who lurked behind him.
The body of Alexander the Great (who shared Hillary's birthday) was tranported home for burial in a golden coffin filled with honey.

Hillary was the first man to reach both the North & South Pole & to climb Qomolangma (Mt Everest). For more details see my previous post "Erebus'.

His actions often seemed to coincide with symbolic or real events.
He reached the South Pole (a sacred place indeed) on 4th January 1958 the same day that Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, fell to Earth.
Sputnik 1 had been launched on Oct 4 1957. On Oct 4 there are 88 days left until the end of the year.
October 4 has also seen a number of falls to earth:-
In 1960 Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, crashed after a bird strike on take-off from Boston's Logan International Airport, killing 62 of the 72 passengers on board.
In 1992 - El AL Flight 1862 crasheds into two apartment buildings in Amsterdam, killing 43 including 39 on the ground.
In 2001 - Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 crasheds into the Black Sea after being struck by an errant Ukrainian S-200 missile. 78 people were killed.

And finally we come to the number 22. I'm sure you've seen it appearing on other blogs recently, in particular

Hillary was created a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 22 April 1995. Baron John Hunt who led the 1953 expedition was born 22 June 1910.
On 22 April 2007, Hillary was reported to have suffered a fall while in Kathmandu, I believe this is meant to indicate the start in a decline of health, although the day he died Hillary had actually been the due to leave hospital and was reported in good spirits.

On 21 January Hillary's casket was taken to the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland to lie in state.
On 22 January, 2008 at 11.00am (11 days after his death) a state funeral was held.
8822 miles away in New York, Heath Ledger died later that same day.
Take another look at the NZ$5 bill at the top of the page, enlarge the image, and what do you see underneath the 'A' of New Zealand - a design or a number?