Or is t an upstanding x?
Just why does x get so cross about it all?
And why did the Greeks not serve their version of t with bikkies?
"Tau ...is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet... In ancient times, [it was] a symbol for life and/or resurrection, (surely that's worth a chockie biscuit) ... whereas the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet, theta, ...
... was considered the symbol of death... In classical Athens, it was used as an abbreviation for the Greek θάνατος (thanatos, “death”) and as it vaguely resembles a human skull, theta was used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times (bugger, no biscuits there then!) ... In its archaic form, θ [theta] was written as:
a cross within a circle"
... hmmm do you ever get the feeling we are going round in circles?
... Then again - "According to Porphry of Tyros, the Egyptians used an X within a circle as a symbol of the soul".
Let's wind up our morning or afternoon T with a cup of Grecian chai latte.
"Chi (uppercase Χ, lowercase χ; ...) is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet ... In Plato's Timaeus, it is explained that the two bands which form the soul of the world cross each other like the letter Χ ... Chi or X is often used to abbreviate the name Christ, as in the holiday Christmas (Xmas). When fused within a single typespace with the Greek letter Rho, it is ... used to represent the person of Jesus Christ.
To complete our 36o degree El Greco tour we find that "The symbolism of the cross was connected not only to the letter chi, but also to tau." (Ita-licky bits courtesy of Wiki)
So many cross-words, so little time to mark the spot!
Where am I going with this you may ask? Why to my own treasure island of course!
First off I would like to acquaint any Northern readers, with the Southern Hemisphere - you may have heard of it, it's that bit at the bottom of the world that contains "a total of 10 to 12% of the human population", lower levels of industrialisation, and smaller land masses."
Not to mention copious quantities of salt water & a vast frozen continent, that is of vast interest to a vast number of 'scientists'.
Next I want to introduce you to my homely country, New Zealand. I realise you may feel pulled to race off after vaster things, but why not take back a little of your time & spend it getting to know a few things about us (you never know when they might pop up in a pub quiz).
"New Zealand’s native biodiversity is unique, born of long isolation as small islands in a vast ocean. The high percentage of endemic species (those found nowhere else in the world), make New Zealand’s native biodiversity both special and highly vulnerable...
... After splitting from other continents 80 million years ago, evolution on land took an eccentric course, leading to plants, animals and ecosystems so distinctive that New Zealand has been described as the closest scientists will come to studying life on another planet...
... From then, until the arrival of humans, it had the longest period of isolation of any non-polar landmass on earth."
Since then, of course, this land, like so many others, has been savagely civilised. And not just civilised, mind you, but thrust out into the forefront of the world as a world leader in what may be the wickedest construct of civilisation - TIME.
When the Green-witch got her high heels stuck in the Primo Meridian, & couldn't remember which direction showed her wickedest side to best advantage ...
... New Zealand became her altar ego. Because her ass (& shoes) are stuck firmly in London, we get daily front row tickets to the dawn chorus. That is why whenever I publish an article in blogland, it is always thrust back in time.
Once Brutishly empirized, NZ was the first country to give women the vote & to introduce the 8 hour working day. Forsooth, never have democratic voters & slave labourers had it so good.
It is also more then halfway-likely that the first flight took place in Aotearoa, or the 'Land of the Long White Cloud' - I mean come on, with a name like that, is it even worth a five minute argument?
"On or about 31st March 1903 a reclusive New Zealand farmer Richard Pearse climbed into a self-built monoplane and flew for about 140 metres before crashing into a gorse hedge on his Waitohi property . Even at half the distance Pearse must have felt the liberating but anxious exhilaration of flying. There is uncertainty about whether it met the definitions of sustained flight, but it came eight months before the Wright Brothers entered the record books at Kitty Hawk North Carolina on 17th December 1903"
On top of that, it was a NZ'er who was crowned "Conqueror of Everest" in 1953.
And more recently we have expanded from mere world leaders to silver'd screen stardom, as the mythological centrefold of the world - "New Zealand is known as Middle Earth for its Lord of the Rings trilogy"
It had long been on my mind to write an article about the woman who perished in the waters between the North & South Islands of NZ. This became even stronger when I 'saw' the outline of a woman's face in the ocean coloured bits of a map at work. Musing about the woman gradually led to the scene of three other tragedies & from there the sky was the limit.
I hope you will come on a journey with me through some of my country's strange past & see what outlines you would draw.
We start with the woman.
"wahine (noun) woman, female, lady, wife."
"Although there have been worse shipping disasters in New Zealand with far greater loss of life, the sinking of the Wahine in 1968 is by far the most well known."
"The tragedy can be attributed to one major cause - the weather. The storm which exploded upon Wellington was one of the worst ever recorded in New Zealand. Its ferocity was due to it being a combination of two storms which by chance happened to merge directly over Wellington ... the two storms clashed together at almost exactly the same time as the overnight Lyttleton - Wellington ferry T.E.V Wahine approached the harbour entrance ...
... Massive waves and hurricane force winds led to the ship being forced on to Barrett's Reef ... Of the 734 passengers and crew on board, 51 people lost their lives.
The storm also marked the coming-of-age for television news broadcasting in New Zealand as camera crews rushed to report on events as they unfolded. The resulting footage was screened around the world."
The body of the woman lay exposed in Wellington Harbour for five years.
The captain of the Wahine was Hector Gordon Robertson, & although he survived, the fate of the woman echoed his Grecian namesake;
"At that moment he realizes that he [Hector] is doomed and that the gods are now all in Achilles' favor. But a warrior to the end, Hector decides that he will go down fighting and that men will talk about his bravery in years to come.
Hector pulls out his sword, his only weapon now, and charges. Achilles, knowing the weak spot of his old armor, which Hector now wears, is at the neck, stabs his spear through the armor into Hector's throat ... Hector, in his final moments, begs Achilles for an honorable burial. However, Achilles replies that he will let dog and vultures devour Hector's flesh ... After his death, Achilles ... drives his fallen enemy through the dust... For the next twelve days, Achilles mistreats the body"
Come on now, just because we are at the outer limits of the world, you didn't think the Greekly myths would loose their hold did you? We'll come back to them & the fates in time, but for now I remind you of how the woman met her fate;
"a combination of two storms which by chance happened to merge directly over Wellington ... the two storms clashed together at almost exactly the same time." I think the We-stern phraseology for such tragedies equates to something like "that was bloody bad luck."
Of possible interest to readers, who find this NZ post of interest, is that the woman perished on a very symbolic sister date;
From wiki: "April 10 is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years)" - as it was in 1968.
Fifty six years earlier: "1912 (also a leap year) – The RMS Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England for her first and only voyage."
And for those with good memories;
"On April 10, 1815, for the first time in about 5000 years, Tambora erupted"
"... probably the largest eruption in historic time"
We recall that Tambora's ejaculation had a seminal influence on the world of literature. After an extended pregnancy & a Year Without a Summer, Mrs Shelley & Mr Byron proudly announced the birth of twin boys - Frank N Stein & Dr Acula.
We return to our story.
So far we've had a woman who perished in 1968 at the bottom of the North Island of NZ. Now we pack up our rucksacks & head off in a mirror'd direction.
We reverse the date, so that 1968 becomes 1986.
Then we reverse position - this time we are at the top tip of the South Island.
This time it is a man who is lost (this will be his second death).
In his first life, Mikhail Lermontov looked like a soldier, but his fame was literarily poetic. A "Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", [he] was the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death."
He was birthed & deathed on reverse dates, 1814-1841. Numbers are very important in this part of the tale, so no day-dreaming of vaster things.
"On July 25, 1841, at Pyatigorsk, fellow army officer Nikolay Martynov, who felt hurt by one of Lermontov's jokes, challenged Lermontov to a duel. The duel took place two days later at the foot of Mashuk mountain. Lermontov was killed by Martynov's first shot."
He was 26 years old.
"The poet is no more! He's fallen
A slave to honour -
Lead in his chest, for vengeance calling,
The proud head bowed at last - he died!..."
On 16th February 1986, his proud head bowed once more into Port Gore (gore (v.) c.1400, from Scottish gorren "to pierce, stab," also gore (n) ... Sense of "clotted blood" (especially shed in battle) developed by 1563."
The Russian Cruise Liner Mikhail Lermontov - 16 February, 1986.
Just as in his previous life, Mikhail Lermontov's body was ripped open by the actions of a man who seemed intent upon his destruction. One man & a ship died.
On 16th February, Captain Don Jamison, the very experienced Marlborough Sounds Harbour Master threaded the Mikhail Lermontov through the patchwork of sea & land that is the Marlborough Sounds. They stopped for a brief visit in the the township of Picton before heading out again around 3pm, this time through the very picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound. Again Captain Jamison was piloting the ship. Approximately two & a half hours, & three close calls later, the ship would be mortally wounded.
In the interests of research I have recently read a book & a half on this subject. Before that I knew nothing except that a Russian cruise ship sank somewhere between the two islands. I was living in Australia at the time & I've always been a slack arse about following the news. So my reading of the book Death of a Cruise Ship was all News to me.
I knew that one man had died & as I read, I figured it must have been the New Zealand Harbour Master/Pilot Don Jamison - that, I thought, would explain why this whole event is so totally unbelievable - he must have died & so the truth could never come out.
I was wrong.
Here is a link to a telling of the tale. Although it doesn't go too deeply into the mind-boggling strangeness of this event, it will give any curious chipmunks a more coloured-in picture. I still have far to travel with this post & this incident, & don't have the time or inclination to write it all up myself.
What I will mention is my fantastical sensing of a duelling match - one where numerous 'shots' were fired at this ship, until one finally hit home.
"How could a pilot run a ship onto the rocks, in his own water, in clear weather?" Sergey Gusev, Second Mate aboard the Mikhail Lermontov
"Within a few hours of departing Picton, and after three close calls which took the ship perilously close to the shoreline, Captain Jamison made the fatal decision to take the Lermontov through a passage which had never been used by ships of its size."
Mock up re-enactment of the 'firing' of the fatal shot at Cape Jackson.
"As you can see, it's theoretically possible that a ship the size and weight of the Mikhail Lermontov could navigate through the channel unharmed; the same way it's theoretically possible to park a car in a garage at a speed of 80mph. You just wouldn't want to do it."
If Captain Jamison was firing shots at the Mikhail Lermontov, I think she also had a go at self defence;
"Jamison ... wanted to give passengers a view of the remains of the historic sailing vessel 'Edwin Fox' ... Shakespeare Bay was a very small area for a ship of the Mikhail Lermontov's size to manoeuvre in and a tight turn was required. The ship did not respond as Jamison had anticipated and the engines had to be put full astern to prevent another grounding. A crew member on the bow estimated that the ship came within 30 meters of the shore. The Pilot had assumed the bow thrusters were available to assist in turning the ship. In fact they had been turned off but no one had informed him of this, and it took 30 seconds from first switching the system on before it could be used.
In the midst of all this Jamison slipped and fell, hitting his head in the process. He recovered his composure and appeared to have suffered no obvious injury"
And now for something completely different. Well not quite - how about a duo of duel connections.
Almost one year ago, I posted an article on the death of an American actor. His name was Pete Duel & he died from (an apparently) self inflicted gun shot wound to the head, on the very last day of the year that was 1971.
His body was found under his X-mas tree, that plus a number of numbers just didn't feel rite
Date of death - December 31, 1971
Time [of death]: 01 33
Filming had just been completed of the 33rd episode of the show that brought him stardom Alias Smith & Jones".
If wiki & one other site are to be believed then the Mikhail Lermontov, (named after a poet shot in a duel), was launched on 31st December, 1970. Exactly one year later, for no apparent reason whatsoever, an actor by the name of Pete Duel (who also wrote poetry) dies from a single gunshot wound.
Of the 738 people aboard the Mikhail Lermontov, 330 were crew members "Only one person was killed: a 33-year-old Russian engineer."
Steven Spielberg is said to have launched his career through a duel, one that aired just six weeks before Pete Duel's strange death.
"Duel is a 1971 television movie about a motorist ... on a remote and lonely road being stalked by a large tanker truck and its almost unseen driver. It was the first feature film directed by Steven Spielberg.
"David Mann ... is a middle-aged businessman driving to an appointment in his Plymouth Valiant. On a two-lane highway in the California desert, he encounters a faded and grimy tanker truck, a Peterbilt 281...The dinosaur roar sound effect that is heard as the truck goes over the cliff is also heard in Jaws ... as the shark's carcass sinks into the ocean. Spielberg has said that this is because he feels there is a "kinship" between Duel and Jaws ... He has also said that inserting the sound effect into Jaws was "my way of thanking Duel for giving me a career"
The aftermath of the sinking of the Lermontov is almost as strange as it's occurence. In a sense nothing happened. There was a preliminary inquiry which decided there would be no more inquiries. This inquiry was run by a man who had been the best man at Captain Jamison's wedding. Jamison admitted liability, surrendered his pilot's licence & continued his seafaring career. No charge of manslaughter for the missing crewman was ever laid. Indeed 15 years later (& one day after the World Trade Centre fell down), the NZ Herald announced his retirement.
According to Michael Guerin in The Mikhail Lermontov Enigma, any findings of the preliminary inquiry were expertly packed into the National Archive boxes & marked "Never to be seen again."
So those are the factually bits, but I would never write if I was forced to stick to factually bits.
In the places I've gone looking, I've found so much inter-connecting-weird-ness. The sinking feelings I get with this particular tale are otherworldly - as if another realm was at the helm. I simply do not have the sense that Captain Jamison was in possession of himself during the times he Pilate'd this ship.
Was there a darker side?
"Witnesses described the deafening roar as the ship went down, crashing, banging and hissing"
"The noise was deafening when the Mikhail Lermontov sank to the bottom of Port Gore"
... hmmm remember this
"The dinosaur roar sound effect that is heard as the truck goes over the cliff is also heard in Jaws ... as the shark's carcass sinks into the ocean." Steven Spiel-BERG (mountain/hill)
Since 1986, the wreck has has claimed the lives of three recreational divers.
Somewhere along the way between Investigative Alley & Sleuthing Street, I chanced upon the following which referred to a royal visitage of queenly proportions;
"22 February (222)- 2 March 1986: A routine visit which coincided with the centennial of the New Zealand Police."
The funny thing is that now I can't see what I saw in that.
I thought I'd read the word 'coincidentally' which always sets off big flashing lights. Who knows, perhaps I did, for the journeying it prompted was worth the effort.
Excuse me a second.
Just hopped over to the GOE (Garden of Eden), as the Tree of Knowlege had a fruity little number that was ripe for picking.
Oh all right I'll do it for you, mind you, the original wahine nibbler, will be popping up later in the series.
The number on the dessert menu today is 'Twenty six' - or in shorthand '26'
Here's some wiki bits'n'pieces;
"26 is the gematric number of the true name of god – YHWH.
According to Jewish chronology, God gave the Torah in the 26th generation since Creation
Twenty-six is a repdigit in base three (222) and in base twelve (22).
The atomic number of iron (The Iron Curtain was officially christened by the frequently appearing Winston Churc-HILL in Westminster in 1946). ...Hmmm perhaps it was no accident that Margaret Thatcher was called the Iron Lady.
[26 is] The number of spacetime dimensions in bosonic string theory."
"The movement of the sun, hence the planets through the signs of the zodiac, is affected by the precession of the equinoxes, which is due to a very slow rotation (26,000 years for a full circle) of the earth's axis round that of the ecliptic."
"Many people have felt uplifted and inspired by the proportions of King's College Chapel in Cambridge (built 1446-1515). Its founder, King Henry VI, gave precise stipulations for its dimensions and design, and it turned out to be one of the last Gothic churches built entirely to geomantic principles...
The very Gothic Kings College Chapel at her moorings in Cambridge (you know Oxford's ever so slightly, lesser twin)
... Among other things, its component parts repeatedly reflect the number 26, which in gematria is the name of God in Hebrew, the tetragrammaton JHVH. Nigel Pennick has written that King's College Chapel "embodied in its fabric, dimensions, proportions, colours and geometry the basic mysteries of the faith. ... Numerologically, the number 26 is dominant.
... There are 26 great stained-glass windows, 26 structural uprights, 26 ribs in each pair of fans in the stone vaulting of the roof, 26 apertures in each panel of side-chantry tracery, etc. ... Twenty-six represents the ineffable name of God, in Hebrew. This word permeates the fabric of the chapel, as the spirit of God was believed to permeate the earth, making the chapel indeed the divine body.
& continuing for those of the mathematical persuasion;
"The Jehovah = 26 current also leads us once again to the Squaring of the Circle, as the Hermeticists discovered, in light of pi equaling 22 sevenths, which when added to the 4 corners of the Square or Cross, yields the number 26. Moreover, the number 26 is also intimately related to the Cube of Measurable Space, made up of 6 faces, 8 corners, and 12 edges, said components adding to the Number 26.
The number 26 is also the number of the proportion of the Golden Rectangle, which was utilized by Classical and Renaissance artists as a symbol of perfection, for this rectangle is measured as 5 by 8 units, and 5 + 8 + 5 + 8 = 26. 26/8 is a karmic number.
26/8 brings events with karmic implication.
There are 26 letters in our alphabet, the extent of our ability to communicate verbally and through the written word.
26 is the number of the cube, an ancient symbol for the human body, and the world of form. Salt crystallizes in cubes and we are said to be the 'salt of the earth. A 26-degree angled hallway leading to the Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid revealed, upon first opening, walls mysteriously encrusted with up to half an inch of salt."
All this & so much more at this fascinating site.
So why you ask, did the fruit of today's Tree of Knowledge, look like this - 26
It started simply enough with the date that the Mikhail Lermontov began her/his last voyage.
That date was February 6 - 6/2 in my world (2/6 if you're of the American persuasion). That date/number then became like a queen rabbit on fertility treatment, spawning rabbitlets of 2'n'6 wherever she went.
I seem to recall "A 26-degree angled hallway leading to the Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid" - hmmm a fertility clinic perhaps? Sorry I'm rabbiting on instead of getting to the point.
The point is that somehow Mikhail Lermontov got cross-pollinated with the Queen, through the numbers 2 & 6. That this took place in New Zealand also appears to be highly significant.
Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov is shot & killed in a duel age at 26 (on 27 July, 1841)
The Mikhail Lermontov leaves Sydney on fatal voyage - 6/2/1986 (Feb 6)
Elizabeth, the woman who will be queen, is born on 21 April, 1926
George VI dies & Elizabeth becomes Queen of England & Commonwealth on 6/2/1952 (Feb 6).
She is 25 years old but turns 26 two months later. "In 1952 at age 26 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was made Time magazine's "Woman of the Year"."
Elizabeth's coronation takes place on 2/6/1953 (June 2)
"TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 1953. On her coronation (c-oro (gold)-'nation') day, the Queen set off from her Palace with a smile of great happiness upon her sweet face. At twenty-six minutes past ten... she left from the Grand Entrance in the Inner Quadrangle."
"Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, establishing New Zealand as a British colony" - 6/2/1840 (Feb 6). Both this date & the Queen's Birthday are public holidays in NZ. Interestingly though, the latter is played out on the first Monday in June, echoing the date of her coronation, rather than her 21st April birthdate.
There's a mountain of info yet to weave together & lots of crosses to mark our way. In the process we will travel to hell & back & also to heaven (pack a light lunch).
The ritualistic nature of the past we thought so conventional is just mind boggling;
"The Coronation of the British Monarch is a ceremony (specifically, initiation rite) in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia (The emblems and symbols of royalty, such as the crown and sceptre).
Stay tuned for more kiwi based holiday reading, complete with imperial trimmings.
Additional: You know how it is, you always leave something out!
the date that the Henry VIII set sail in his kingship.