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Pease Blossom
08 April 2009 @ 10:49 am

I believe the Gods (masc), or if you prefer: "archetypes", of our pagan past, most of which still are very pertinent today, are to a witch what the nine muses are to men of various inspired arts - they are our inspiration.

Lately I feel the the presence of a power, a God, both lofty and profoundly erotic.
It is The Green Man. He has many names, some hotly contested. He is Osiris, Dumuzi, Tammuz, Adonis, Dionysus, Jesus, Viridios, the Green Knight, John Barleycorn, Sylvanus, Green George, Jack in the green, Al-Khiḍr, Llew, Robin Goodfellow, Robin Hood...

A couple of interesting bits -
"In one of his roles the ancient Egyptian God Osiris is regarded as a corn-deity and is commonly depicted with a green face representing vegetation, rebirth and resurrection. Containers of soil in the shape of Osiris planted with seed ("Osiris Beds") are found in some New Kingdom tombs . The sprouting corn implied the resurrection of the deceased."
- Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, George Hart, p119, Routledge, 2005

"There are legends of him (Al-Khiḍr) in which, like Osiris, he is dismembered and reborn; and prophecies connecting him, like the Green Man, with the end of time. His name means the Green One or Verdant One, he is the voice of inspiration to the aspirant and committed artist. He can come as a white light or the gleam on a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood. The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one's normal capacities. In this there may be a link across cultures, …one reason for the enthusiasm of the medieval sculptors for the Green Man may be that he was the source of inspiration."
- Anderson, William (1990). Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth. San Francisco: Harper Collins.

The Green Man isn't just the Goddesses yearly child. Together with his sister-lover, the flower maiden, he is life, life never-ending. He may transform in Autumn, when he is sacrificed for the sake of life, to feed the people, but he is never absent, as, in all places, he is immortal in that which is evergreen.

In him we see our own immortality mirrored. We, are born in the spring of our youth, only to ripen and be harvested, and then , one fine day we come again, like the grasses and the flowers we are reborn, again and again... me, I want to be the evergreen.

I yearn for him to come
and bless my garden with his presence,
as if it were a holy place
where he might abide softly
enchanting me with his green song.
In my soul the flower maiden awakens,
and my hair takes on a golden hue,
and my finger tips are rosy.

When I tread the pathways,
of my garden;
so carefully laid out in early spring,
tendrils and dewy leaves grasp at me.
I smell the perfume of herbs,
and green life growing.
He is so close then I wonder
blushing, and glancing about,
if other's will see my desire.

Pease Blossom
16 November 2006 @ 12:12 pm
Lucius MalfoyCollapse )

"...I had clean forgotten all. I had sung to the indolent hills
Songs of joy without grief, since grief is of human things the shadow of human ills.
I sang aloud in my pride of song to the chime of the answering rills.

And, behold, the whole world heard, the dull mad man-ridden Earth.
And they cried, "A prophet hath risen, a sage with the heart of a child, a bard of no human birth,
A soul that hath known nor pain, nor sin, a singer of infinite mirth."

And she too heard it and came. And she knew it was I grown wise.
And she stood from the rest apart, and I watched her with pitying scorn, and then with a sad surprise,
And last with a new sweet passionate joy, for I saw there were tears in her eyes.

And she came and sat at my feet, as in days ere our grief began.
And I saw her a woman grown. And I was a prophet no more, but a desolate voiceless man.
And I clasped her fast in my arms in joy and kissed her tears as they ran.

And I shall not be fooled by her, though her face is fair as a rose.
And I shall not live without love, though the world should forget my songs and I should forget its woes,
And the purple hills should forget the sea and the spray when the west wind blows."

Pease Blossom
15 November 2006 @ 10:48 am
In reading the complete myth of Tantalus, compiled from various original sources, I was struck by the similarity between this family and the family of Ceridwen.

Ceridwen has a cauldron: a most beautiful daughter, Creirwy; a most ugly son, Morfran (also called Avagddu); and kills/eats, then gives birth to Taliesin, "shining brow". Tegid Veol is her husband. Ceridwen was going to kill the infant Taliesin but he was too beautiful, so she threw him in the ocean.

Tantalus has a most beautiful daughter, Niobe; a most ugly son, Broteas; and a third son, Pelops, who was killed, thrown in a cauldron, and reborn shining with divine light. The divinity supposedly from the shoulder-blade of a dolphin which was fashioned for him by Demeter, the only one of the Gods who partook of his flesh. Pelops is stolen away by Poseidon.

Perhaps Ceridwen should be seen as derivative of Ceres-wen, the white grain goddess.

The myth of Tantalus and in part Pelops is here: http://www.haidukpress.com/tantalus/index.html

If anyone who might read this is familiar with the myth of Ceridwen and Taliesin this ought to ring bells.

Pease Blossom
14 November 2006 @ 11:07 am
"When a giant new oil field was discovered recently in the Gulf of Mexico — possibly the biggest domestic field unearthed in 30 years — it was good news for America's energy front. It should have been great news for taxpayers, too. That's because under leases with the U.S. Interior Department, oil companies typically agree to pay taxpayers generous royalties on their finds — after all, the oil companies drill in public waters. But members of Congress are raising questions as to whether taxpayers will get their due from all of the oil brought up in the new field, due to a costly mistake in some leases that actually exempts oil companies from paying royalties. A federal inquiry has been trying to get to the bottom of just who gave big oil this big break. It happened eight years ago: Leases issued for deep-water drilling in the Gulf in 1998 and 1999 released oil companies from paying the royalties even if the price of oil escalated to incredible heights, as they have in recent month,"



Pease Blossom
10 June 2006 @ 12:00 pm
I am a story teller. I love telling people stories. I am a walking anecdote, my head full of metaphor. You might find me beside a campfire, weaving my craft. You might find me beneath a bridge with my fellow indigents. You could be at an inn, or in a pub, in the small hours of day and realize I am speaking, though you hadn't known I was, and suddenly be riveted. You might read one of my stories in a book. A friend might forward you one online. I love stories because I am one. I am a myth. I come from a family of myth, of mythic proportions, of gods and goddesses. They have gone but I remain; the heir of their legacy.

I am not without my enemies in the world of stories. Because we are, in fact, the end result of our dreams, our stories, there are those who wish to craft us stories that serve their purposes, and press those stories on us. These stories speak of sin, of a fall from grace that never happened, of only one perfect son. These stories tell us what is real and what is not, in defiance of our senses, our logic, our own and our neighbor's testimony. These stories define success and failure in such a way as to ensnare the soul. These stories sicken. These stories keep the mass of humanity pliable. And those are not my stories. In some cases they were mine once, but they were taken and twisted, so that rather than uplift and inspire, rather than inform, now they poison. If I could catch them, and lock them back in their box, I certainly would; but there is little more elusive of capture than a story. So it is that the responsibility of discernment falls on you, the listener, the reader, the observer. Will you choose to live a great story? What is a great story? Will you choose something inspiring? Or will you choose something more comfortable? Or will you embrace those stories that tell you the worst of humanity, unaware that what you choose to see in the world, which is your mirror, is ultimately yourself? Will you believe lies that pluck off the wings of your divinity, and burden you so that your back is bent double beneath load? And it's all a load of bull shit.

I know, beings such as I am, are not supposed to talk that way. Right? Wrong.

It would all be heinous, and tragic, if you were not a forever being. But you have, we all have, existed from the very beginning, and are without end. And here we must make distinct from one another, human stories, and divine stories. Human stories have a limited existence. They are born from a lack of knowledge, and resolve into the past when the wisdom of them is learned. Divine stories are never ending. They are a tapestry made of all the little stories, and embroidered with pearls of wisdom. Thus, you have, and we all have, chosen one set of human stories for one life, which may in practice stretch over many lifetimes, and a new set when those are finished, and so on and so forth, and will continue to do so. Did I mention forever?

Did I mention that while I am a story teller, I suck at endings. I just don't think that way. My version of an ending would be: and then he/she got it, and never believed such nonsense again, and chose a new story to live. Those I inspire often do think in terms of endings though. They have too often still been caught up in the illusion of mortality. And so many have felt a need to finalize their stories. They wrap it up and either move on to write a new story, or live a new story, or, more often, die. That doesn't bother me if their stories are small, human, transient stories, meant to end. I just don't like the inference that like human dramas, divine stories also end. He lived happily ever after? How about he ascended happily into the everafter. She died, but because she was good in the end, she went to heaven? Where she got to sit on a cloud and pluck a harp for eternity? How about, she died, but because she had learned the moral of her story she got to go on to a new one. All stories go on, because all lives go on; because all of life is forever ongoing unfoldment. Thus are the best of stories. Ongoing. Inspiring. Forever unfolding into that which is greater and greater.
Pease Blossom
26 April 2006 @ 10:49 am
"And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: 'I.'"
Pease Blossom
13 March 2006 @ 11:03 am
The name, Catherine, means "innocent" in Northern Europe, and "pure" in Greek. It should thus be understood as a name signifying the sort of innocence which could as easily be called ignorance, being a lack of wisdom from experience. And, the story shows blatantly that this is the case with our Catherine. She lacks wisdom chiefly in understanding the proper value 1) of her own experiences and 2) of herself. She is also ignorant of what Frederick, who represents her soulmate, could have told her because the sharing of experiences, understanding and wisdom is not happening. That is the way it was before psychiatry gave men permission to have a feminine aspect. Men and women were in denial of the fact that each had an aspect of the other sex within that they could draw wisdom from the experiences of.
That the sizzling sausage was stolen from Catherine is blatantly obvious. She lost her masculine aspect. That she lost it to a dog, says that it was instinct for survival that lead to this loss. It was important, for survival sake, that men and women denied their other self. A woman was a woman and a man was a man, and to declare yourself connected to, and having an aspect of the opposite sex was punishable, at certain times in history, by death. Religious doctrine became custom and instinct, and so the two were cut off from each other, and people today who insist on being one extreme or the other of gender are still cut off in this way.

The creator of this story has chosen to present the loss of feminine wisdom in symbolism related to Goddesses. The names we give them are not as important as the esoteric truth behind their worship. For instance, it doesn't matter that the Goddess of Grain is indicated in the loss of the beer and malt in the first incident. What matters is that it is the wisdom (when a thing is harvested and then processed, especially by some form of fermentation, it represents the wisdom of that thing) she is symbolic of that is lost. So...

Catherine let their beer and malt go back to the earth. The wisdom of the Grain Goddess is the sacred sexuality. The greatest children are born out of love. Two people engaging in union out of love for one another. What kind of people are born out of molestation? There is an art to bringing forth a new generation of children, and it belongs to the Grain Goddess. She informs women of the proper value of their sexuality, least they use it as a weapon in the ongoing warfare between the sexes, or as a tool to survival.

Catherine traded their gold for pottery. The wisdom of the Earth Goddess is alchemy, to take a human born of the clay and transmute him, or her, into a God. She teaches the cycles of spiritual evolution by her seasons. Through her wisdom we know the proper times to sow, cultivate and harvest, which is to say: to dream a dream, bring it to manifestation, experience it, and end it, gleaning from it it's wisdom.

Catherine spread their butter on the wounded earth, and rolled her cheese wheels away like a stream flowing down the hills. The wisdom of the Milk/Water Goddess is compassion. She kindly nurtures and comforts the confused, hurt, and needy of the earth. The rift between the sexes, the shame of having done foul things in ignorance, these and more need healing in the soul. The healing needed is the sort of nonjudgmental love that a mother gives her child.

Catherine carried away half their door, leaving their home open to thieves. The wisdom of the Midwife/"Guardian of the Gate" Goddess is chastity and how to bring forth in creativity. She guards the gateways between worlds. She facilitates the birthing of new experiences. She teaches when to allow and when not to allow. She knows discernment, rather than judgment.

Catherine could not bear the weight of her apples and vinegar, and so let them drop. The wisdom of the Apple Goddess is healing, specifically rejuvenation and immortality of the physical body. She works in league with the kundalini serpent, which is the life force.

Catherine, as a woman is guardian of these things because they are experiences from the female side of life.

Catherine lets go of her door, and the thieves (men who will take a woman's virtue) thought SHE was the Evil One, because of course evil ones always hang out in apple trees.

When the couple return to their home Catherine goes by herself to the fields to harvest. There she shears off half of her garments. This is to say half of the experiences available to her, Fred's half, she is unaware of and so looses the benefit of the wisdom she could have gained from them. This leaves her half naked in the world, and not knowing who she really is.

She goes to her home and her husband doesn't recognize her. Thus she is left alone in the world to make her way as best she can. She takes up with thieves, but doesn't know cunning. The author is saying cunning is a thing native to men, which may be true or not, either way most women have had to learn it whether native or not.

One thing to remember hear is that both of them suffer for lack of what the other could give.

In the last part we see a lame parson, and a "countryman" deciding Catherine is the devil. But the parson's lameness marks him as either the devil, or under that one's influence. That the "countryman" carries the parson is to say he is the populace as a whole who empower religious men to denounce women and name them devils, and without value, or soul. All too obviously the parson should have recognized Catherine in need of guidance, and helped her; but, true to history, he couldn't get away fast enough.
Pease Blossom
02 February 2006 @ 06:49 am
In the story of Hansel and Gretel I see two layers of meaning which are interrelated. The first meaning is a parable on the correct manner in which to proceed in life, as an alchemical adept. The second elaborates on this in terms associated with the final stages of Alchemical transformation, the processes of Distillation, Sublimation, and Coagulation.

To begin at the beginning, it is easy to see the story can be divided into two adventures. In the first one the children are taken into the forest (here meaning the human experience) and left, but quickly find their way home, by following the path of white stone. We note also in this part they return but little has changed, they do not bring home the treasure that will change everything, and the wicked step-mother still has it in for them. In the second they trust to the bread path, but it doesn't take them directly home. Birds, which should be understood as the spirit, partake of the bread; and then, in the form of a white bird, leads them to more. They find the witch's cottage and eat from that. She takes them captive, they defeat her, and return home this time with treasure, to find the step-mother is dead.

By the first part of the tale we are told that the purpose of life is not to abstain from it, returning to God as quickly as possible. That is the mistake of monks who wall themselves up in their cells, praying and fasting, and hoping to die before the material world pollutes them. It is the sort of thinking that condemns the eating of the apple as having been an error, when infact it was man's next step in making known all of God's kingdoms, by taking on a body and learning about the human experience. Given the white stone, the philosopher's stone, an adept might be prone to thinking like the monk, to quit the human experience as soon as possible. But to do so he will not have returned with the 'treasure'.

The point of human life is not to abstain from it, but to engage it. From the lacks and challenges inherent in this we cultivate the one treasure you can take home to God, mind. We want to cultivate a mind down here that is rich in experience and wisdom, one that can focus, one that is not addicted to polarity, emotion, people, places, things, times, and events. Ideally we want to create a mind that has gained all there is to be had from the human experience so that we may progress to greater adventures and never feel the need to reincarnate again, as we have been trapped in stagnating cycles of reincarnation for eons.

The thing that has kept us trapped in this cycle has many names and symbols, but it is the Body-Mind consciousness, symbolized here as both the step-mother and the witch. It is because of this mind, carried over from lifetime to lifetime, that we must return in a new life, as Hansel and Gretel do by going into the forest. Body-Mind consciousness is a problem unique to the human experience, and so must be addressed as an incarnate human. Thus the step-mother, the false mother, is the reason we are again in the 'forest'. We encounter her in that life as the witch, who seems to wish to nurture, but infact intends to imprison and consume. She derives from the body's instinct for survival. Survival is of course an important thing, but when we sacrifice our soul in order to survive we have lost our way yet again. For example, when a person stays with a job they long since mastered, or a relationship that no longer has love in it, and does so for the sake of enhanced survival. In survival we name all that is comfortable "good', and all that is uncomfortable "bad", and soon enough all that is unknown becomes a potential threat, and thus "bad". In this way we are trapped by our fears, and cease to evolve in terms of consuming life, making known the unknown, and we begin to die.

By facing the witch and reducing her, the children gain the wisdom of all the human experience, symbolized by the lunar pearls, and solar jewels, a treasure greater that the white stone. When they return to their father, the step-mother is dead, and they are so enriched they never have to be turned out again.

So, what is meant by the path of the bread? Apparently the Egyptians, and later the Israelites, mixed the Philosopher's Stone into a bread or cake. This was to feed the spirit. The stone could also be mixed into a drink that was milky, and a glass. The stone is much gentler in it's effects when it is diluted, as in a bread. There is a great deal written on the subject that makes for fascinating reading, so I won't get into it any more than this.

In taking a closer look at the other symbols in the story we see: the children weeping; birds: a white pigeon, birds who ate the bread crumbs, a white bird of unspecified species, and a white duck; a white cat; a chimney lit by the rising sun; the names Hansel and Gretel, who are likened to a mouse, and a wind; the witch's red eyes; a bone; and a body of water.

Tears/Salt - The three archetypal forces of Spirit, Soul, and Body are symbolized in alchemy as Sulfur, Mercury and Salt, respectively. Hansel and Gretel do allot of weeping, in this we see salt. Salt has a higher nature and a lower. As Body, it is in its lower aspect, and called ‘bitter’, because the human experience can be bitter, and painful. In its higher aspect salt is a name for the Philosopher's Stone and a Christ, which is God in a body. When the polarity of Solar and Lunar consciousness is united a third state of consciousness emerges Stellar or Christ Consciousness. This is symbolized by Salt, Gold, the King's son or heroic child, and the Philosopher's Stone, just to name some of the more common symbols. Christ is called ‘Sal sapientiae’, the Salt of Wisdom’, and the Emerald Tablet calls Salt "the Glory of the Whole Universe." Nefertem, whom I will speak of more later, is the Egyptian God of cosmetics, healing, and alchemy, who in one form is the child Ra, and whose tears produce the first humans. One could say that as we resolve our human addictions, a path called the dark night of the soul, we become what humans were intended to be... Christs. But we need to 'wash our garments', our souls and bodies, perhaps in a bath of tears, to become that.

Salt is also seen as a symbol for the second phase of the Great Work, The White Phase, or Albedo. The White Phase takes place during the alchemical process called Distillation.

Of Birds in general its said "Vulcan (the fire of Spirit) induces the birds to fly", which indicates that Sublimation is taking place.

At this point I'll offer a definition of Distillation, Sublimation and Coagulation. Distillation is a process most of us will recall from high school chemistry. It is the heating of a liquid into vapor form, at which point the various substances in the original liquid mixture may be separately condensed again into a more purified form. Thus a fermented mash may have the purified alcohol removed from it. Sublimation and Coagulation together are almost the same thing as distillation, except that one begins with a solid, and there is no intermediate liquid phase. The solid emits a vapor (Sublimation) which is collected on the 'chimney' of the flask (Coagulation) it is being heated in. Sublimation is the first stage of Coagulation, in which the vapors are released. In the second phase the vapors are solidified, or Coagulated. In spiritual terms this is the separation of wisdom, the finer form, from the ferment of human experience, and the creation of a greater self from what remains.

The dove, remembering that a pigeon is a dove, is a symbol of many things in many cultures. But in Alchemy, it signifies the change from the Black Phase to the White Phase of transformation. Additionally the Dove symbolizes Third Person of the Blessed Trinity (that would be us, the soul carriers and mirror consciousness of God), and is a symbol of renewed spirit. It is likely Hansel's white pigeon was a homing pigeon as well, given the context.

The White Chimney, shining in the early morning sun, tells us the alchemical process is about to begin. If it had already begun we would have seen it at a later time of day, and it would have been soiled, or colored. It is the beginning of a new adventure for our protagonists, and we wish them to do the great work this time around.

The Moon, and Silver are likewise indicative of Coagulation, because what we have left of the substance we started with is purified (sinless, spotless, virginal, innocent...).

The White Cat is related both to the lunar Diana, and the (very solar) Egyptian divine family of Alchemy, in this case Sekhmet or Bast whom, with Ptah are parents of Nefertem, the young Ra. Ra was believed to assume the form of a tomcat each night for his battle with the serpent of darkness. In the book of the Dead he is referred to and refers to himself as the great cat. Nefertem was portrayed either as a human with a lion head, a human standing upon a lion, or a human wearing a lotus blossom headdress. The lotus blossoms too obviously indicating enlightenment, the flowering of the pituitary, or crown chakra. The Lions head meaning virtually the same thing. Nefertem is called a god of cosmetics, healing, and alchemy. The white stone of alchemy could certainly be called both cosmetic, as it restores youth, and healing, as it restores health. Also important is that the solar Greek god, Apollo, was sometimes called by the epithet Smintheus ("mouse-catcher") from sminthos; the mouse-exterminator. Recalling that he is brother to the lunar Diana, who is also associated with cats. There is some disagreement as to the meaning though and some say Smintheus means 'mouse-like'. At any rate a white cat on a roof, in this context refers to the unity of lunar/female and solar/masculine polarities as a necessary stage in mastery. A stage that occurs prior to the final effort in which the 'witch' is distilled/sublimated.

"Nibble, nibble, little mouse..." says the witch in one version of the story, hearing the children as they dine on her house. Mouse was the creature of Apollo, whether because he caught them or was like them. Mouse told Apollo all the secrets of the earth. The mouse represented, and still does represent, the soul. A better symbol for the soul however is a book, because everything you have ever experienced, in any lifetime, and between lifetimes, is recorded in the soul as emotion. It is the log of our travels into God; and the guide through each life, because we set in the soul that which we desired to follow, as a path, before we incarnate, in each of our lifetimes. Mouse partakes of life and records the experiences. Mouse knows the secret way when we are incarnate on earth. The children are guided by their soul wisdom. Also, a mouse can so weaken a house as to cause it to collapse, a bit of foreshadowing for what is going to happen to the witch.

The wind, the wind, The heaven-born wind," the children answer her. I am certain this refers to winds of change. Change is what the altered-ego, Body-mind consciousness fears most, because change is venturing into the unknown. The unknown, and change are equated with a threat to survival.

The witch says, you shall not escape me again. How many lifetimes have we been her captive?

The witch has red eyes. Red is the only color, other than white, which is mentioned in this story. It marks the Purple Phase (or Iosis) of the Great Work. The third and final stage of transformation, which is marked by the reddening of the material, indicates successful Coagulation.

At first the witch feeds them milk and sugared pancakes, with apples and nuts. This is the soporific mother's milk and enchanted bread of comfort, and the These are Eve's apples, the apples of human experience, and, perhaps, the Hesperides apples of immortality; and nuts of wisdom, like the hazel nuts of the druids. In this we see that we are trapped by our weakness for comfort. But, also, that our opponents, and the difficulties of life, enrich us in the end. More so, often, than comfort and friends.

Later Gretel gets only crab shells to eat. But Crab was considered sacred to Apollo. In this we see that though the witch forces her into the traditional female role of drudge, she is still being nourished by a solar essence that is her connection to her animus/soulmate.

Like wise Hansel is being fattened for the slaughter, the traditional role for men being one of privilege... until it is time to go to war and die for king and country. But he keeps as a talisman a small slender bone, which symbolizes the feminine of his spirit. Thus the witch is confused.

The witch is then reduced to ash and smoke, leaving behind her pearls and jewels, which I have already discussed.

Gretel is a Northern European diminutive of Margaret, which means 'pearl' in Greek, and 'child of light' in Persian. Hansel is a form of John, which means 'mercy of God' or 'grace of God' in Hebrew; but in Saxon it means 'a society'. Like the society of enlightened people who preserved this knowledge?

Finally we see another white bird, in the Duck. It was believe that a pair of ducks remained together for life, so the symbolism of the duck is an enduring partnership and fidelity. As the master of polarity will never again allow his inner connection to his soulmate, or his God, to be lost to him. Duck ferries the children across the water - that wasn't there when they left home! It is a new water. It is the Aqua Vitae, the living water of the refined and cleansed soul (water being the element most indicative of emotion, and soul being our recorder of emotion). The White duck is emblematic of it's nature.

And, of course, they lived happily ever after. But then no one is happy long, unless they continue to evolve. That's what eternity was made for.