If you could step inside a convenient phone booth & time travel back in time to 1915, then by just 12 days you would have missed the start of the bloody sacrifice known as Gallipoli (or the re-enactment of the seige of Troy).
Never mind, for today the 7th May, if you land your sturdy chariot at the Old Head of Kinsale at the southern end of the Emerald Isles, you will witness yet another sacrifice. You will need to arrive around 2pm. In the distance a liner with four funnels will appear, very shortly thereafter she will list heavily and start to sink. In eighteen minutes she will be gone.
You will have witnessed the sacrifice of the Lusitania...
I was startled to realise just after completing The Sacrifice, just how quickly on the achilles heels of Gallipoli came the horrific sinking of this ship.
I owe her a debt of gratitude. Last year I happened upon a book about her at the library, then shortly afterwards, I was amazed to come upon a blog article about her. Greatly touched by this I wanted to leave a comment, and thus my blog account was born.
It was the closeness in timing to Gallipoli that made me curious. I'd forgotten the date, although I recalled that at the time I was suspicious because of her departure date - May 1st - Beltane.
"Bealtaine is a cross-quater day, marking the midpoint in the sun's progress between the spring equinox & summer solstice. Since the Celtic year was based on both lunar and solar cycles, it is possible that the holiday was celebrated on the full moon nearest the midpoint between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is closer to May 5 or May 7, but this can vary from year to year." & "Beltane comes from the Old Irish Beltene ('bright fire'). Wikipedia
I have to say this has been a tricky article it goes round and round in ever tightening circles. There is a lot of contradictory information.
What is said to be fact is that a German submarine U20 fired a torpedo that struck the Lusitania at 2.10pm on 7th May. Two explosions have always been reported but the times in between vary - though it seems they were fairly close together. The second was very large and was the cause of the rapid sinking. She was within sight of land, picnicers on Old Head of Kinsale watched in horror. The sinking was so fast that many people never stood a chance. 1198 civilians lost their lives and a further 3 in the days that followed. Many of the dead were women & children. There were many Americans on board, I have found varying numbers in the death toll but around 128.
The sinking caused great outrage.
In a world accustomed to perpetual slaughter it may be hard for us to comprehend it's effect. Perhaps if 9/11 had not been so dramatic there could have been a similarity. It could perhaps be viewed as one of the first media covered terrorist attacks. Nearly 100 children drowned, including over 30 babies. There were stories of drowned mothers found clutching their dead babies.
So where to begin...
This is a subjective article. I feel a need to write it, but I'm not going to present a lot of proof. There's plenty of that on the Internet & in books, and believe me it's full of contradictions.
We're going to sail down the 'synchromystic trail', because it flows cleanly and this is a dirty business.
So we have a great loss of life around the time of celtic festival of Beltane, just off the celtic coast of Ireland. Beltane is a fire festival, and it was a torpedo 'fired' at the Lusitania that was believed to have caused both explosions. Whether or not this is the case there was one small & one great explosion. At Beltane fires are lit on hilltops, at Old Head of Kinsale a lighthouse plays the part.
"Beltane was also a time when the Otherworld was seen as particularly close at hand" If as I think Lusitania was a sacrifice them this description gives me the creeps. The liner was actually only about 8 miles from the Old Head of Kinsale, so on that day the otherworld was very close indeed.
The name Lusitania is said to come from an ancient Roman Province that included much of modern day Portugal. I have often felt that it was a strange name and can't help but get a certain luciferic conotation from it. She had a sister ship the Mauretania, another Roman province so it all looks kosher, but I kept finding Roman mythology as I dug deeper & was very interested to find that Maurs is a very early form of Mars. Tania is said to mean 'a region of land,' but it is also a girls name and means fairy queen. Titania perhaps being the most well known.
"Whereas Samhain revelers must look out for wandering souls of the dead, Beltane merrymakers must watch for Fairies. Beltane is the night when the queen of the fairies will ride out on her white steed to entice humans away to Faeryland. If you hear the bells of the Fairy Queen's horse, you are advised to look away, so she will pass you by; look at the Queen and your sense alone will not hold you back!"
It is believed that Beltane is a Celtic reinvention of an even older Roman festival, Floralia, which celebrated the goddess Flora and the flowering of spring. It was held on April 27 to May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers.
So what's in a name. "In Latin, the word "Lucifer", means "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Morning Star" (the planet Venus in its dawn appearances)."
Is there any reason that we should see the light when we look at the Lusitania?
"100,000 CHEER AS LUSITANIA SAILS; Giant Cunarder Leaves Liverpool on Her Maiden Voyage to New York. AN HOUR LATE IN STARTING It Is Believed the New Liner Will Beat the Lucania to This Port by at Least Twenty Hours" (8 Sept 1907 ). Lucania it seems is an ancient district of Italy, and it is probably completely coincidental that her name seems to resemble the latin word for light. When the Lusitania was launched in 1907 she was the largest vessel the world had ever seen. Her light certainly exceeded the Luciana whose last voyage was on July 7th 1909. Her light was put out on August 14th, 1909, when she was badly damaged by a fire, and partially sank at her berth.
At her berth in Liverpool, the Lusitania was known affectionately as The Lucy. 'Lucy' is of Latin origin, and means"light". It is the feminine form of Lucius.
St Lucy or Santa Lucia was a fourth century martyr mainly known for her praiseworthy virginity and having her eyes gouged out. She has maintained a following in a number of countries including Sweden where, on her feast day, 13 December girls dress in white and wear a crown of candles.
Did you click on the link, no I didn't think so. Well the last part is rather interesting.
'December 13 is also associated with a being called Lussi. She "is conceived of as a woman, usually with evil traits, like a feminine demon. Such a spirit is also found in mid- and southern European mythologies (citation needed) and given the name of darkness, like Lucia die dunkle (the dark Lucia). Her contrast is Lucia die helle (the fair Lucia), a Christian take-over which is associated with Saint Lucia."
"Yet another name is relevant here, namely Lucifer. His name has the same etymological background (the name literally means "light-bringer"). Once he was an angel of light, then he was dethroned and became the Prince of Darkness. Lussi was also conceived of as Adam’s first wife, and the ancestor of all fairies, goblins, little people."
The light saber of the seas made 201 transatlantic crossings. A 'Liner' is a ship that makes regular scheduled voyages on a set route. The Lusitania's set route was from Liverpool to New York & back. I have become interested in ships, their names & routes. It started when I researched a previous post on 'knickers'. I was playing around with ideas and typed in 'daffodil' & 'lodge' looking for a masonic link. I came up with the link below, & I suggest you come back to it and have a bit of a read. The descriptions seemed to me to suggest a deeper meaning, and I've since wondered about the use of ship's routes & their names.
The Lusitania weaved her way back & forth across the Atlantic 201 times. We would look at the sea and see no trail but that does that mean it is not there. If she was an animal we could say she left her scent at the places she docked. A trail of light perhaps. Indeed at night she must have been ablaze with light.
On 5th May, two days before her light went out, the Earl of Lathom was sunk by the the same submrine U20 off the Old Head of Kinsale.
Her escort was to have been HMS Juno. Now I've gotten totally frustrated trying to get to the truth of what happened here so many conflicting stories, always a good sign that there's probably something to be seen.
Basically it seems that HMS Juno was to have escorted the Lusitania but was recalled. She could have helped with survivors but as she might have been a submarine target she was ordered to stay away. Let's not get too tied down with facts. Look at the name - Juno. The patron goddess of Rome & the Roman Empire. She was the daughter of Saturn & the mother of Mars (Maurs). She was called 'Regina' - Queen of the gods. (remember that for later).
For now we look at her in one of her aspects as Juno Lucina. It's amazing how info just turns up, I just found this - look familiar?
"Juno Lucina, Mother of Lights, was a goddess of childbirth whose festival was celebrated with torchlights and bonfires in Rome in early December. As midwife of the miraculous Sun Child born at Winter Solstice, it was said she brought children to light. Later converted to Christianity as St. Lucy, she found a home in Sweden, where Yuletide celebrations today still include the procession of the Lussibruden (Lucy Bride), led by a young girl wearing a crown of candles"
As Juno Lucina she was the goddess of childbirth, "for the newborn baby is brought into the light".
Juno Lucina is represented carrying a child in her arms, with two or more at her feet. It has often been remarked just how many women & children died on the Lusitania. Whatever the facts on the day the story remains the same - Juno turned away from her charges.
Perhaps this sacrifice was to balance & equal that of the heroic deaths of the men in the Dardanelles. It most assuredly was a female sacrifice.
Conflicting stories abound but one that interested me was that Admiral Coke in charge of naval security in the area "had sent a message to the tug HELLESPONT to return to Queenstown, because her escort, the yacht SCADAUN, was to search for U-boats. Because of a callsign mix-up, LUSITANIA believed the message was for her, telling her to enter Queenstown. Captain Turner "to the end of his life...was adamant that it instructed him to divert into Queenstown."
Of interest here is meeting with Hellespont again so soon after the Gallipoli camapaign - Hellespont, now known as The Dardanelles, was named after Helle, sister of Phrixus, who fell off the golden ram & drowned. My personal opinion is that Captain Turner was made a scapegoat - he protested his innocence for the rest of his life.
His name should ring a bell or eight - Capt. William Turner or should I say Will Turner.
To finish the feminine theme of this article we come to Queenstown, County Cork.
You won't find it any more as it returned to it's original name of Cobh in 1922. It seems that on her first visit to Ireland in 1849, Queen Victoria agreed to have it's name changed to commemorate her visit (no comment). Queenstown had been a regular port of call for the Lusitania prior to the outbreak of war. In fact Queenstown had a strong link with New York, as more than 1.5 million Irish emigrants were ferried from there to America. The first person to be 'processed' at Ellis Island, (& highly symbolic it seems too) was Annie Moore who arrived in New York on 1st January 1892 which just happened to be her 15th birthday. It seems she died in 1923 and is buried in Queens - a home away from home it would seem. Today she symbolically links Cobh (Queenstown) & New York through two statues, one in each port. I remind you here that Juno is known as the queen of the gods & it was to Queenstown that she was recalled.
Lusitania's 1198 dead were transported to Queenstown which became a huge morgue & then a cemetery.
I cannot help but wonder if the emotions & energy of those days are held in that town. It just flickered through my mind that if Lusitania was the original 9/11 then how very interesting that it should be so emotionally linked to New York. Queenstown was also the last port of call for the Titanic. There are memorials to both ships there.