Once upon this time there was a story & it wove in & out of worlds & words & times.
The world in which I began this investigation refused to sit still & like the self-willed cat that shares my home, wandered freely through fact & fiction without any concern as to the feasibility of such travels.
This post began with the stolen life of one woman.
On 1st November 2006, Adrienne Shelly's life-force was taken. The link above goes into the significance of the date on which this occurred, but here are a few reminders
"The past becomes present again on Samhain"
"It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted."
"The rituals of Samhain involve bonding with the dead. On this night, the Celts believed the doors were opened between the worlds and the paths were travelled by the spirits going back and forth... This world and the Otherworld become equivalent to each other, and no barriers existed between the dead and the living, that is, the “Veil” was at its thinnest."
For some reason I find that I'm not able to use the words 'murdered' or 'killed' when speaking of Adrienne Shelly - they are such common words & they imply something that is over, finished & done with, I don't get that feeling. So I'm going to use the word 'abducted', just as Persephone was 'abducted' & perhaps that's rather a powerful image after all.
In seeking & questioning as to what lay behind & beyond this event I was drawn to two other deaths, fairly close in both time & space, I can go no further without bringing them onto this small stage because of the curious interweaving in all three tales.
Fourteen months after Adrienne's abduction, Heath Ledger was also removed to the underworld (a story you will be most familiar with). Another five months pass & Ruslana Korshunova jumps from the ninth floor of her apartment & also enters the underworld via Water St in Lower Manhattan.
In order to help get your bearings, here is a map. The Two Towers Express Underworld Elevator are quite visible on the bottom right.
From Ellis Taylor: " My insights and research, so far, suggests that both culprits and victims are chosen because aspects of their energy patterns suit a specific purpose. The locations that are involved are selected for the same reason. It is not necessary for any of them to be consciously aware that they are being motivated to fulfill the intended agenda...There is always an occult element to every incident, every experience, because all things are manifested thoughts and are therefore devised in secret."
If you are looking for logical facts & answers then you are at the wrong site. What follows is an intuitive ramble through names & events & places that aroused my interest & peaked my curiosity. Make of them what you will. It is my hope that if we look at these events with new eyes we might help the spirits of the wrongfully taken to be free & as all things are connected we may help ourselves in the process.
When I first let my mind wonder about Adrienne Shelly, it wondered & wandered in the direction of Mary Shelley, the woman who is far less famous than her infamous creation - the monster often referred to as Frankenstein. I looked at the two women who resonated the same (adopted) name 'Shell(e)y' - Mary acquired hers through marriage, Adrienne chose it as her professional name, taking it from her father's name 'Sheldon' M. Levine.
Both women were writers. Mary's husband was the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adrienne's husband was Andrew Ostroy, whose name I have often mis-typed as 'Story'. Both women's work ended up on the big screen. And the date of their deaths are a kind of mirror image of each other - Adrienne died 1st November, while Mary died on 1st Feb (Imbolc) which is 'One of the four major Celtic calendar feasts known in Old Irish as Samhain (1 November), Beltaine (1 May), and Lugnasad (ModIr. Lughnasa, 1 August)."
Also of interest in looking into Adrienne's importance is her date of birth which took place on June 24 (1966) in Queens, New York.
Litha, also known as Midsummer, is the summer solstice... Most European peasants celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, June 24th... Just as May Day was a time to renew the boundary on one's own property, so Midsummer's Eve was a time to ward the boundary of the city... The Goddess, who in her Maiden aspect met the youthful God in sacred marriage at Beltane, has now become Mother, pregnant, just as the Earth is pregnant with the growth that will become the harvest...
"The Mother reigns as Queen of Summer, and it is through her that her Consort comes to mature realization of his full role, and its ultimate sacrifice. She is the Earth; he is the energy and heat that has gone into the Earth so that together they create new life... The God will become a willing sacrifice, falling with the harvest and becoming the seed of his own rebirth as the wheel turns...In ancient festivals of Gaul, Midsummer celebrations were called Feast of Epona. Epona is sometimes pictured as a Goddess riding a white mare,
and sometimes as the white mare itself.
Customs surrounding Litha are many and varied... Certain courageous souls might spend the night keeping watch in the center of a circle of standing stones. To do so would certainly result in either death, madness, or (hopefully) the power of inspiration to become a great poet or bard.
This was also the night when the serpents of the island would roll themselves into a hissing, writhing ball in order to engender the 'glain', also called the 'serpent's egg', 'snake stone', or 'Druid's egg'. Anyone in possession of this hard glass bubble would wield incredible magical powers. Even Merlyn himself (accompanied by his black dog) went in search of it, according to one ancient Welsh story."
So the Queen of summer (think Persephone) was abducted on the day that announces the end of summer - Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer's end.”
As always I've played & allowed words & ideas to appear as they will, so lets look at where she was abducted.
Now I've looked up the origins of Abingdon & it's a place in England not far from the Uffington White Horse - remembering as mentioned above "In ancient festivals of Gaul, Midsummer [Adrienne's birthday] celebrations were called Feast of Epona. Epona is sometimes pictured as a Goddess riding a white mare."
" The Horse symbol meanings of power are widespread through most cultures, and it is linked as an emblem of life-force. Many cultures assign the attributes of the four elements to the Horse: Earth, Fire, Air and Water."
Interesting as these points are, I was drawn instead to another name Abydos. Abingdon-Abydos? Could Abingdon be a cunning reworking of 'Abydos'. Was Abydos even a place of import?
"Abydos, the cult city of Osiris, lies on the West Bank of the Nile, about 145 km north of Luxor...It was here that Osiris regained his power: at Abydos Isis found the last part of his dismembered body - his head, and restored him to life" (well enough for a quickie anyway)
"It is particularly associated with Osiris, one of the great gods of Ancient Egypt, one of whose epithets is the "Lord of Abydos." His mysteries were celebrated there annually and the ritual re-enactment of Osiris' death and resurrection brought pilgrims from all over Egypt."
"For the Ancient Egyptians, Abydos was one of the holiest sites in the world. It was the cult center of the god Osiris and gateway to the underworld (believed to lie under the nearby hills) and therefore many people made pilgrimages here or were brought here for burial after death."
"As Seti-I began the search for a location for his Temple, he was lead to a location north of Luxor in the bend of the River Nile. There he began to dig the foundation for his Temple. What he discovered was the Osireion, or the ancient temple of Osiris. Whether he actually knew that the Osireion was there, perhaps we will never know, but upon finding this ancient temple in the path of his new temple, he turned his new temple to the left. It is the only temple in Egypt that makes an 'L' turn." - translation (this was an important place).
"We also note the “holy tomb” of Arles-sur-Tech, held in high reverence by La Sanch (and known to Saunière). This is a tomb out of wish holy water flows. As it is the tomb of two saints, which were Persian princes, this is actually a “royal tomb” – from which sacred waters continue to well up. We compare this to the recent discovery of an underground cave on the Gizeh plateau, identified by Zahi Hawass as a symbolic “Tomb of Osiris” – literally “Tomb of the Resurrected”, or “Christ” – surrounded by water. This is equal to the Oseirion in Abydos, mythically considered to be the tomb of Osiris, equally surrounded by water."
So looked at from my bird's eye view I see a summer queen abducted at a time when the veil between two worlds is at it's thinnest in an area that may well resonate as an opening to the underworld - bearing in mind, Abingdon Square's close location to the Twin Ta Wer burial site this perhaps is not so inconceivable.
Now if we look closer at Mary Shelley's most famous work we find the story of a being-monster created from various body parts - now where have I come across that scenario before ...hmmm.... ah yes Osiris. Surely he could have got a 'bit' part in the Frankenstein movies, well I suppose many parts (& many bits) really! As for 'the look,' he would have been purrfect with that Robin-hoodish shade of Sher(Holly?)wood green, which though not in the the book, has certainly become synonymous with the 'bolted man'.
Now before we leave Abydos we have a bit of leapfrogging through credibilty to do - are you game? I'm presenting this to you backwards. In actual fact the princess led me to the stream & we found the frog that way, but having lead you down the garden path this way, it seems easiest to retrace earlier steps. That being said there is much more to come which will weave back through this & make more sense.
Another name for Abydos is Ta Wer. When I saw that name some months ago now, I thought it looked familiar & indeed it did - rearrange it ever so slightly & you get wet, for it spells 'Water'.
On 28th June 2008, a supermodel known as the Russian Rapunzel leapt out of a ninth story apartment & plunged to her death in Water St, Manhattan. At the time I simply connected the two 'watery' elements & felt an extra synch of acknowledgement that I was on to the right path by linking the three fallen 'stars.'
Recently a far more fantastical interpretaton has come to mind & with it a sense that perhaps this world is far more intimately connected with the stories we have grown up with than we have ever realised. Do tales only reside only on the pages of books & within our minds OR are they a dimension that is woven through this one that we inhabit - do words carry worlds within them?
I will go just a little farther on this for now because I have much going on in my life at present & there's far too much to these tales to skip lightly through.
But lets suppose for a fantastical moment that our Princess Rapunzel who dived from her tower (Ta-Wer) actually landed as the media certainly stated in Water (St) - then our story changes, because Rapunzel's death would be by drowning. Now I'm sure this sounds very strange indeed & yet, AND YET it led to one of the most amazing finds of my research life.
Before I take you there, there's another phenomenal synch which also fits with my reluctance up till now to continue with this article. You see the Russian Rapunzel's name Ruslana translates as 'Lion' - I must admit I was gobsmacked - the lions that have followed me through the mil-Lion Man post crossed over into this one. Ruslana's name would have meant little had I not written of the leonine one first.
So I looked up water & lions - a more popular combination than you might think.
The big golden leo at the end is an MGM special (those little lion lovers).
So I thought a little more ... hmm what about sea lions - I know seemed a bit far fetched but why not. Google presented me with a taster about Selkies - "In Scottish mythology selkies were sea lions that could shed their skin and take human form... " Well that looked interesting so I did what any self-respecting researcher would do & double clicked. The page appeared & the scrolling began - oh good alphabetical order so not too hard to find & then directly above the Selkie listing a title leaped off the page Rusalka - I'd been so used to seeing the name Ruslana that I stopped in my tracks & then came these words (worlds)
Rusalka were female ghosts in Slavic mythology. They were thought to be souls of young women died in or near lakes that had usually been murdered. They were not violent, but mainly haunted lakes until their death was avenged. Some explained the Rusalka as women that died prematurely due to suicide or murder having to do with their loved ones had to live out their designated time on earth as a spirit. Other stated that water ghosts are unclean dead, such as unbaptized babies, and people that died from suicides.
"In most versions, the rusalka is an unquiet dead being, associated with the "unclean force". According to Zelenin, people who die violently and before their time, such as young women who commit suicide because they have been jilted by their lovers, or unmarried women who are pregnant, must live out their designated time on earth as a spirit. The ghostly version is the soul of a young woman who had died in or near a river or a lake and came to haunt that waterway. This undead rusalka is not invariably malevolent, and will be allowed to die in peace if her death is avenged."
"While her primary dwelling place was the body of water in which she died, the rusalka could come out of the water at night, climb a tree, and sit there singing songs, sit on a dock and comb her hair, or join other rusalki in circle dances (Russian:: хороводы, Polish: korowody) in the field. Though in some versions of the myth, the eyes shine like green fire, others describe them with extremely pale and translucent skin, and no visible pupils. Her hair is sometimes depicted as green or golden, and often perpetually wet. The Rusalka could not live long on dry land, but with her comb she was always safe, for it gave her the power to conjure water when she needed it. According to some legends, should the rusalka's hair dry out, she will die.
The rusalki were believed to be at their most dangerous during the Rusalka Week (Rusal'naia - note similarity to the name Ruslana) in early June. At this time, they were supposed to have left their watery depths in order to swing on branches of birch and willow trees by nights."
Now I realise this may not sound so amazing just now, but for me it came after a great deal of research that had to do with water & drowning, that had come prior to ever thinking of Ruslana's death in a more surreal way. Is it possible that her spirit now inhabits the 'water'way of Manhattan & is this on purpose, for although there was no evidence of foul play there was also nothing to suggest that she should suddenly jump out of a window three days before her twenty first birthday. "Korshunova’s mother, Valentina Kutenkova, does not believe in her daughter’s suicide."
I feel there is a connection between the deaths of Adrienne Shelly, Ruslana Korshunova & Heath Ledger, certainly there is a tremendous ficticious connection which I find both tremendously strange & tremendously intriguing.
....................................To be continued