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."
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."