Dec 31, 2010

Is it the Apocalypse?

Okay. I say that a lot these days. But some mornings are so surreal I feel like I've gone to sleep in one world and woken in another. This is what I get for watching the news first thing in the morning. I should probably start with the coffee and work my way up to the news. Tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes...

We're having "the stormiest New Years Eve in 60 years." I just heard that on MSNBC. With the Northeast still digging out from under the massive, Christmas snowfall, and the political fallout from same, fresh blizzards are now burying other parts of the country. All sorts of fun events are occurring, such as this hundred car pile-up on North Dakota. Snow, at least, is seasonal. Tornadoes, however, are not. But a freakish warm front has wreaked havoc down south, with confirmed tornadoes in  Arkansas and Missouri. At least three people have been killed.

A tornado fueled by an unusually warm winter air sliced through parts of northwestern Arkansas early on New Year's Eve, killing three people, injuring several others and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses.

The dead were killed at Cincinnati, a hamlet of about 100 about three miles from the Oklahoma border. Washington County sheriff's dispatcher Josh Howerton said the storm touched down near the center of the community. He said "lots of injuries" were reported, and officials in nearby Benton County said the storm injured two people and damaged five homes there.

. . .

"In the winter you don't always have the instability" that would allow tornadoes to develop, Buonanno said. "This time, we have the instability."

And speaking of freak events, a substantial earthquake hit Northern Indiana. Why freakish? Because earthquakes in Northern Indiana are extremely rare; and in this particular part of the state, unprecedented.

Although earthquakes are fairly common in the southwestern part of Indiana and occasionally happen along the edge of Lake Michigan, earth scientists say there has never been an earthquake confirmed in north central Indiana.

"Unprecedented," said Walter Gray, an official with the Indiana Geological Survey, a research group at Indiana University. "There is no historical evidence of quakes in that area. We have no events that have been recorded."

And apparently, it's spring here. My husband woke up to the sound of birds chirping. He looked out the window and saw four or five squirrels... and they were merry. Or married. I'm never sure of that line. Shouldn't they be hibernating or something?

We're capping off a banner year of endless tumult with a freaky-deaky New Years. But as I tool around Google News, it's the human behavior -- not the weather -- that I find truly alarming. Two of the more juicy bits that shocked me out of any possible reverie come from across the pond, where encroaching tyranny seems to have taken a quantum leap. In a shockingly draconian move, Europe has made hundreds of herbal remedies illegal.

Hundreds of herbal medicinal products will be banned from sale in Britain next year under what campaigners say is a "discriminatory and disproportionate" European law.

With four months to go before the EU-wide ban is implemented, thousands of patients face the loss of herbal remedies that have been used in the UK for decades.

But don't worry about the EU. This year, leadership will go to Hungary... which just did away with freedom of the press!!!

Hungary is introducing on Saturday a controversial media law that critics say will turn the clock back and re-introduce totalitarian rule in the former Communist nation. Under the legislation, journalists can face huge fines if their coverage is deemed unbalanced. The controversy comes as Hungary takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union on Saturday.

. . .

There also is international concern that the legislation will lead to censorship. But Andras Koltay, a member of the new media council, strongly disagrees.

Koltay said he  doesn't think there is a danger this legislation will force journalists into self censorship. Instead, he said, the law will ensure more balanced media. He adds that it also will bring order in the media, because they are currently having to work on the basis of confusing laws from the 1980s and 1990s. He argues the law is to the advantage of both the media and the public.

How's that for Orwellian doublespeak? Nah, journalists won't self-censor. Why would they when they'll have a government agency to do it for them?

None of this fills me with optimism about the coming year. Indeed, it reminds that the world is going off the rails; something I've been keenly aware of all year. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold...

The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all around it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

So I just keep looking to the pyramids and saying "There's no place like home.A Pair of Ruby Slippers Worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 MGM film "The Wizard of Oz" There's no place like home. There's no place like home."

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Dec 23, 2010

O Christmas Tree: A Contemplation

I love Christmas trees. Always have. Many of my warmest, childhood memories are of decorating the Christmas tree and waiting for Santa to bring me a Barbie, some Silly Putty, or an Easy Bake Oven. That's because I was raised in a Christian home. Pine trees and magical, gift giving elves were beloved by the baby Jesus. Remember? In the stable when Joseph and Mary were visited by the three wise men and Santa Claus, with his reindeer, and they all sang "O Tannenbaum?" Okay... Maybe I have that wrong.

So, how did the Christmas tree come to be such an integral part of Christmas? Like so many of our beloved Christmas traditions they derive primarily from ancient, pre-Christian, pagan cultures. Historically, they have an uneasy relationship with Christianity; alternately rejected as pagan artifacts and claimed vehemently as Christian rather than secular. Many Christians would probably be surprised to learn that the ancient pagan practice of decorating tree cuttings, which occurred in parts of the Middle East long before the birth of Christ, is specifically condemned in the Bible.

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." ~ Jeremiah 10:2-4

The use of evergreens has a specific symbolic appeal in the dead of winter. Many scholars of paganism and goddess worship will tell you that pine trees represent eternal life because they remain vibrant throughout the dead of winter. I read about this in far too many books when I first started exploring goddess traditions, many moons ago, for me to source and cite them all. Here is a good overview from Religious

Dec 21, 2010

Mr. Deity and the Eternal Fire

Today is the winter solstice. All over the world, throughout history, various traditions have celebrated this day by keeping the flame alive through the darkness. So I thought it fitting that I post this recent Mr. Deity about his version of the eternal fire. It's a little different and a lot meaner. Actually there are two recent videos in the player. The first one is very short. Both are excellent examples of why I love this series. Mr. Deity as played by Brian Dalton totally embodies the God of the Bible; the jealousy, the vanity, the caprice, the total lack of critical thinking skill... Of course he's decidedly more affable but I suspect it would be unwatchable otherwise.

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Dec 20, 2010

Into the Dark Night of the Solstice Eclipse

This year's winter solstice marks a rare astronomical event. It coincides with a full lunar eclipse. So it will be a long, dark night, indeed.

As many as 1.5 billion people worldwide will be able to watch when the Earth's shadow creeps across the moon's surface early Tuesday morning, the first time in hundreds of years that a lunar eclipse will fall on the winter solstice.

With the full moon high in the winter sky, the lunar eclipse will be visible from four continents, with the best views from North America and Central America if weather permits, scientists say.

. . .

Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years for NASA.

"Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21," Chester said, according to NASA. "Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one ... that will be on 2094 DEC 21."

And here is a special warning from Wonkette:

Tonight will be very exciting for the fancy elitists in our country who can locate the night sky: For the first time in four centuries, a total lunar eclipse will also mark the Winter Solstice. Also, it’s a Full Moon! And there’s a meteor shower tonight, too! This combination of science and paganism is exactly what the Baby Jesus fears the most this time of year — and America can hardly afford to have its national religious-consumer holiday spoiled by potentially Islamic forces of Nature. As always in our fragile nation, the crucial thing is to not be distracted by what’s going on all around us, because the American Way is to instead create some unpleasant diversion until “the threat passes” or everyone currently alive is dead.

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Dec 18, 2010

The Vatican: Enabling Predators, Passing the Buck

As discussed, the Vatican refused to cooperate with the Murphy commission in Ireland and was apparently indignant at the request. Disclosures like this most recent one could explain their reluctance to being exposed. Here is yet another case of the Vatican refusing to defrock a horrifyingly prolific pedophile; a serial abuser with hundreds of victims.

The Vatican tried to stop Dublin church leaders from defrocking a particularly dangerous pedophile priest and relented only after he raped a boy in a pub restroom, an investigation reported Friday.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said he fully accepted the findings of the latest chapter in Ireland's investigation into child abuse by Catholic Church figures.

Martin called Tony Walsh an "extremely devious man" who should never have been ordained a priest, and said the report highlighted how the church had grown too powerful and arrogant in 20th century Ireland.

There is plenty of blame to go around on this one; starting with Irish church officials who actively concealed Walsh's abuses from authorities and ending with the authorities themselves. Two gardaí (Irish police) dropped their investigation.

Msgr Alex Stenson, who is now the parish priest of Killester in Dublin, had been investigating Walsh’s paedophile tendencies for six years when gardaí sought to interview him about a complaint in 1991 made by the parents of a young boy who Walsh had attempted to abuse.

When asked by a garda if Walsh had a record of paedophilia, Msgr Stenson replied: “I evaded that but told him to proceed with whatever steps he thought he should take.”


The commission concluded that a criminal investigation which began in 1991 was “effectively shelved” because the church was carrying out its own investigation.

The church's internal investigation, however, was comprised of  "patchy, ill-coordinated efforts to look into a string of abuse complaints against Walsh until 1986, when he was transferred to another Dublin parish 'to avoid further scandal in Ballyfermot.'"

In a pattern that will be familiar to anyone who has been following clerical abuse scandal, Walsh was simply passed around rather than stopped. Worse, after years of hit and miss investigation and psychological evaluation concluded that he was an irredeemable abuser, Monsignor Sheehy simply wanted to turn him lose on society, unsupervised and unprosecuted.

The commission said there had been repeated clashes between Msgr Stenson, who was praised by the Murphy report on a previous occasion, and his predecessor the late msgr Gerard Sheehy.

Msgr Sheehy was adamant that Walsh should have not been suspended but should have been persuaded to leave the priesthood.

Msgr Sheehy said at a 1991 meeting that it was an “outrageous suggestion” that the civil authorities should be called in relation to Walsh.

But even when Irish Church officials came 'round to the belief that Walsh had to be punished, the Vatican demurred, granting Walsh's request and refusing to defrock him.

An investigation into his behaviour began in the early 90s by Dublin-based priests but the report said Walsh fought the Church penal process at every stage.

The process to dismiss him as a cleric began in January 1992, almost a year after the decision to do so was made.

In 1993 Rome was asked to laicise him.

Walsh appealed and Rome allowed him to remain as a priest until Archbishop Desmond Connell wrote to the Vatican and begged the Pope to dismiss him.

It took an active police investigation of a crime so heinous -- robbing a boy of his innocence even as he was grieving the loss of his grandfather -- neither the police nor the Vatican could ignore the problem any longer.

In May 1994, Walsh sexually assaulted a boy in a pub restroom following the funeral of the boy's grandfather. Months later, a Dublin mother accused Walsh of driving her son to the brink of suicide after abusing him while "baby-sitting" one night.

Police finally opened an investigation in earnest. Church documents showed that Stenson ordered Walsh to stay away from children and no longer wear the priest's uniform – or risk having his pay reduced.

Walsh was convicted of attacking the boy in the pub restroom in February 1995 and received a 12-month sentence. He was later convicted of sexually assaulting several more boys and received a further 10-year sentence that was reduced in a 1997 appeal to six years.

During these criminal trials Connell wrote first to the Rome Rota explaining he could not find a monastery willing to house Walsh and could not reassign him to a parish overseas – a longtime church practice for managing pedophile priests – because he had been charged with crimes.

Finally he appealed in a letter seeking the personal intercession of Pope John Paul II to defrock Walsh. "The archbishop humbly begs the Holy Father graciously to grant him this favor in the interests of the well-being of the church," he wrote.

Even as a defrocked priest and ex-con, Walsh took to gallivanting about the Irish countryside, impersonating a priest so as to woo new victims. He finally won himself a stiff sentence earlier this month and is back in prison where he belongs.

There is no question that the Irish church failed miserably at the task of protecting children from predators. Instead, they protected the predators. It's a familiar story having played out in dioceses all over the world. (The recently exposed San Diego Diocese comes to mind.) But the Vatican, having stonewalled the Murphy commission, is no less culpable just because it avoided scrutiny. That in yet another case it refused to penalize a wanton criminal with laicization is embarrassing. And, once again, the Vatican failed to support a diocese when its officials, at long last, tried to the right thing. In light of all that, it's hard to view Pope Benedict's excoriation of the Irish diocese as anything but hypocritical.

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Dec 16, 2010

William Henry: The Seraphim, Kundalini, and Ascension

As I mentioned here, William Henry has been contemplating the seraphim. He may not be experiencing stigmata like St. Francis but he seems to have had a revelatory experience, marking the  Coast to Coast interview posted below something of a break-through. Embracing serpent myths will do that. Take it from one who knows. As I said here, the definition Henry gives of the seraphim -- "winged and/or fiery serpents" -- describes the fully awakened kundalini. Here is a breakdown of the Biblical context of this definition from the Wiki.

Seraphim, literally "burning ones", is the plural of "seraph", more properly sarap. The word sarap/seraphim appears three times in the Torah (Numbers 21:6-8, Deuteronomy 8:15) and four times in the Book of Isaiah (6:2-6, 14:29, 30:6). In Numbers and Deuteronomy the "seraphim" are serpents - the association of serpents as "burning ones" is possibly due to the burning sensation of the poison. [1] Isaiah also uses the word in close association with words to describes snakes (nahash, the generic word for snakes, in 14:29, and efeh, viper, in 30:6).

Isaiah's vision of seraphim in the Temple in Jerusalem is the sole instance in the Hebrew Bible of the word being used to describe celestial beings: there the winged "seraphim" attend God and have human attributes:[2] "... I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the Hekhal (sanctuary). Above him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew." (Isaiah 6:1–3) In Isaiah's vision the seraphim cry continually to each other, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory" (verses 2-3) before carrying out an act of purification for the prophet (verses 6-7). It is possible that these are winged snake-beings, but given that the word "seraphim" is not attached as an adjective or modifier to other snake-words ("nahash," etc.), as is the case in every other occurrence of the word, it is more probable that they are variants of the "fiery" lesser deities making up God's divine court.[3]

"Seraphim" appear in the 2nd century B.C. Book of Enoch[4] where they are designated as drakones (δράκονες "serpents"), and are mentioned, in conjunction with the cherubim as the heavenly creatures standing nearest to the throne of God. In the late 1st century A.D. Book of Revelation (iv. 4-8) they are described as being forever in God's presence and praising Him constantly: "Day and night with out ceasing they sing: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.'" They appear also in the Christian Gnostic text On the Origin of the World, described as "dragon-shaped angels".[5]

I'm always a little amazed when my years of exploration of world mythology bring me full round to the Christian upbringing I fled. Serpent myths are foundational to many world traditions, with strong parallels between Ancient Egyptian and Hindu mythology. (See Heaven's Mirror.) In Eastern traditions, particularly in China, dragons are ubiquitous and beloved. A Chinese DragonSerpents as a primary, world creating energy crop up all over the place pointing to the original mother goddess mythology that is largely buried. What makes the Judeo-Christian treatment of these mythical serpents unique is that it aggressively demonizes them.Yet references to serpents as representing wisdom, power, and immortality, appear throughout Biblical texts creating a subtle, largely unnoticed counterpoint to the accepted narrative.

I remember learning years ago that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was not a snake but rather a "shining one." I didn't know quite what to do with that information back then. I had no appropriate context in which to place it. When one is raised in that tradition, this bit of linguistic derivation only serves to create cognitive dissonance. So I was little amused at the caller who informed Henry that "obviously" the serpent with Adam and Eve is the "ultimate evil" and that this is why we think of serpents as evil. But, no, it's not that simple... or obvious. From the supporting text of The Companion Bible:

The Hebrew word rendered "serpent" in Genesis 3:1 is Nachash (from the root Nachash, to shine, and means a shinning one. Hence, in Chaldee it means brass or copper, because of its shining. Hence also, the word Nehushtan, a piece of brass, in 2Kings 18:4.

In the same way Saraph, in Isaiah 6:2,6, means a burning one, and, because the serpents mentioned in Numbers 21 were burning, in the poison of their bite, they were called Saraphim, or Seraphs.

But when the LORD said unto Moses, "Make thee a fiery serpent" (Numbers 21:8), He said, "Make thee a Saraph", and, in obeying this command, we read in verse 9, "Moses made a Nachash of brass". Nachash is thus used as being interchangeable with Saraph.

Yes folks, the mystery hidden in the Bible is kundalini. Moses "raised the serpent in the wilderness." (John 3:14) He raised it on a pole (spine). (Numbers 21:8) Just as Eve's serpent moved through the tree (spine). But the penalties for accessing that serpent wisdom and becoming "as gods" are explicit. The prevailing narrative calls it hubris.Lilith Eve's punishment was to make all of womankind second-class citizens. Her gnosis is suppressed. What explicit Biblical references there are to serpent wisdom are misinterpreted and ultimately consigned to being some vestigial relic of pre-existing systems. (See Lilith.)

The global myths that inform all these world religions, to varying degrees, speak of dragons and feathered serpents like Quetzalcoatl, whom I encountered in Mexico at Teotihuacan. In this interview, Henry explains his own attempts to reconcile benevolent serpents like Quetzalcoatl and the seraphim with ideas of evil reptilians popularized by David Icke and others. He comes to the same basic conclusion I did when looking at Icke's reptilians; that whatever Icke is seeing it's not the winged serpents of myth. The reptile attributes are an interpretation of a coiling, moving, electrical phenomenon. Remember that the Sanskrit word kundalini does not mean snake. That's just the symbolic depiction. I've read several translations and they vary but they are all some version of the word "coil." Here's a version from the very helpful Biology of Kundalini.

KUNDALINI - (Sanskrit kund, "to burn"; kunda, "to coil or to spiral") a concentrated field of intelligent, cosmic invisible energy absolutely vital to life; beginning in the base of the spine when a man or woman begins to evolve as wisdom is earned. Kundalini has been described as liquid fire and liquid light.

Where it gets really confusing is that there seems to be a lot of conflation between those kundalini and reptile myths and the Icke-type conception of "the reptilians." This goes for Icke as well as the conspiracy theory set who are heavily invested in his work. To his credit, Icke has stated that he's speaking of a particular reptilian race; not all reptilian beings in the universe. He has also acknowledged that he is experiencing a kundalini awakening and the ensuing crisis that should be familiar to many who have similarly opened. In Tales from the Loop he says:

This is what happened to me. It was the cause of my ‘dam burst’ and the process began on the mound in Peru. The kundalini exploded up through my spine, activating all the chakras and my brain into a higher level of contact with the ocean of infinite consciousness. With that initial explosion came the apparent chaos in my mind as I was transforming from one energy state to another. It was this activation that caused me to suddenly see the world and myself in a totally different way and my mind was bombarded with information and concepts I could not process for months. I felt like a computer that had locked up because too many keys had been pressed at once. This was my state on the Wogan show and public ignorance of these matters led me to be labelled "mad". This is the normal defence response to anyone who is significantly different and I was now seriously different.

The problem I have with Icke is that I wish he'd talk about that more and help diffuse some of the confusion in the public mind that has resulted from his work.

John Lamb Lash has also addressed the conflict between David Icke's idea of reptile overlords and the serpent mythos associated with kundalini.

Today we hear the wildest claims regarding reptilians, how they manipulated us genetically in ancient times, their horrific rites and shapeshifting powers, how they are running the world, etc. Unfortunately, most of the chatter on the reptilian agenda ends up providing hype for the scaly intruders, who are enormously overrated, I would warn. Gnostics taught that the signature of the archons is HAL, the Coptic word for "simulation." They warned us in no uncertain terms to distinguish between what the archons can actually do, and what they merely simulate with the alien technology of VR, virtual reality. These cosmic cousins of ours may be lolling in perverse delight at bringing humanity down to their level, turning us into monsters of aggression and conformity, slavish control-freaks. But their game or test is not what it appears to be, if they prevail by tricking us to annihilate ourselves. What if arch-CON looming power over us depends upon the CON we perpetrate in our own minds, giving our power away to them?

It will be impossible to see the truth of the archontic test unless we recognize and own the wisdom that comes down to us from genuine adepts of the Mysteries, men and women who mastered the serpent power, kundalini. Those initiates of the serpent wisdom must be distinguished from the alien reptilians and their human accomplices. There has always been an intrepid corps of enlightened warriors who resist the alien game on this planet, but current discourse on the reptilian agenda, led by David Icke, fails to recognize the nature of the Mystery cells as bastions of resistance. Imagination fuelled by kundalini gives total immunity to alien intrusio, [sic] Gnostics taught. There is no hint of this solution coming from David Icke in his recommendations for facing the reptilian assault.

I would go further and suggest that the conspiracy crowd have been taken in by a disinfo campaign by the, perhaps archontic, frequency they fear. They are running away from the very myths and symbols that are meant to awaken our consciousness and free us from illusion or maya. Symbols like this one, for instance:

Yes, it is an "all seeing eye" but we all have one... and it's asleep. As Henry has said in many conversations, including this one, "None of our candles are lit. None of our elevators go to the top." The information he presents here should go some way towards furthering that process of illumination.

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Dec 15, 2010

Prince Charles On Sacred Geometry

Well, color me gobsmacked. I've just added to my bookstore, of all things, a book by Prince Charles. I never thought I'd see the day. But this headline on The Huffington Post caught my eye: "Prince Charles Reflects on 'Sacred Geometry.'" Not only does he demonstrate a solid knowledge of sacred geometry but he is speaking to something that I have been saying for years; that if we constructed things according to the principles of sacred geometry, we would have far more efficient and durable systems. It's something that drives me mental, actually, on a daily basis. Little things like the way shampoo bottles tip over in the shower because the structure and weight don't account for changing center of gravity as you use up the shampoo. And, of course, on a grand scale everything from urban planning to architecture to farming would benefit from following the laws and principles of the natural world instead of fighting them. These greater world problems are what Prince Charles is addressing his book Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World.

Examining some of the past wonders of human achievement, Charles highlights a "sacred geometry" which stands in sharp contrast to the hectic and scattered appearance of modern life. He argues that such principles are not archaic but are, in fact, highly relevant to solving many of the world's current problems.

Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our WorldIn this exclusive excerpt, the British heir marvels at his favorite building, the Chartres Cathedral, and the seemingly perfect order of its architecture.

Chartres was begun at the start of the eleventh century. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and Professor Critchlow suggests that the symbolism of the entire cathedral is intimately tied up with the medieval development of the cult of Mary - perhaps a renaissance, he claims, of the cult of the Greek goddess of wisdom, Sophia. I can only give a snapshot here of the remarkable scholarship he has achieved, but it is so important that the wider world sees some of what he has uncovered because it demonstrates in physical form the outlook that prevailed in the mood of thought in the Western world 1,000 years ago.

Once again the geometry of the entire building is derived from a circle. Its floor plan is contained within the proportions of a vesica. As the illustration demonstrates, the centre point of the vesica sits at the very centre of the building so that the North and South doors, seen here on the left and right, are exactly positioned. The windows also conform to this shape. The great Belle Verrière window, for example, which depicts the Madonna and Child, sits perfectly within a vesica and thus perfectly within the floor plan of the cathedral, with every significant point in the design of the window corresponding to key positions in the geometry of the rest of the building. Christ's head sits over the Madonna's heart. As Professor Critchlow has shown, the infant Christ's throat, from which the entire Christian tradition was eventually spoken, falls at the very centre of the vesica and therefore at the very heart of the building. The blue jewel in the Madonna's crown falls on the rond point of the cathedral at the end of the choir, which happens to sit immediately below a large weathervane up on the roof in the shape of Gabriel, the archangel who brought the news to Mary of Christ's incarnation. The eight stars that circle the Madonna's head, fall precisely on the eight pillars that surround the altar, and her feet rest on the columns of the doorway of the West entrance. And so the precision of this comprehensive geometry goes on.

The entrance into the building is through the West front, which comprises two soaring towers, one with the symbol of the Moon upon it and one, a significant number of feet taller, bearing the symbol of the Sun. The height of this spire matches the length of the cathedral: 365 feet. The Moon spire is 28 feet shorter, a number linked very closely to the lunar calendar. And beneath them sits one of the most spectacular of all rose windows, symbolizing the uniting of the apparent duality represented by the symbols of the Sun and the Moon. This unifying process is even built into the way the pilgrim was expected to journey around the cathedral. They would enter the building beneath the Moon, passing from the world of time into the timeless, and then progress along the left wall, reading the story of Christianity in the windows of the North side of the cathedral. There are in fact three great rose windows in the body of the cathedral and they were also intended to be read in sequence, along with all of the other layers of symbolism built into the fabric of the architecture.

For instance, there are two gateposts on the building, one on the North door and one on the South. The Northern gatepost carries a statue of St Anne, who, being the mother of Mary, is traditionally the figure in whom the Old Testament ends. After progressing through the building, following the course of Chartres's famous labyrinth with its central chamber containing twelve petals on the floor (exactly at the point, incidentally, where Christ's feet appear in the Belle Verrière window), the pilgrim would pass the Southern door, above which is the image of the fully grown Christ, enclosed within a vesica. On the gatepost of that door Christ is depicted again, carrying in his hands the book of his message to the world, his New Testament. Even here the architecture is full of symbolism. Professor Critchlow points out that the shape of the book is a Golden Rectangle and that it is angled in such a way that one corner rests on Christ's 'naval centre', as it would be described in the Indian, Vedantic tradition, while the upper corner rests on his 'heart centre'. Keith Critchlow has also calculated that this book is tilted at approximately 24 ½ º, which is both the angle at which our hearts lie within our bodies and the tilt of the Earth in relation to the solar axis.

Quite clearly not an inch of this entire building is left to chance. Every angle and position conveys symbolic meaning. The medieval Christian architects who designed such a breathtaking structure were following the teachings of the mystics of their age and created what seems to me to amount to a profound prayer to all of creation. They made a building that offers us the direct experience of what the ancients held to be our true relationship with the world. To walk around within its soaring pillars and to bask in the gentle light that pours through its exquisite windows is to experience a sense of participation in the very 'patterning' of the soul. No sense here of being a disconnected observer in a dead and mechanical universe.

I have wanted to pay such attention to the principles of the world's sacred geometry because they stand in such contrast to the predominant way in which we view the world today. I am sure many people will say that you cannot organise 'modern' life around ancient, irrelevant concepts, but the point is that the sheer elegance of a building like Chartres Cathedral and the precision of its geometry was only possible because of the rediscovery of classical knowledge which was born of a tradition of wisdom which is not time-specific and 'historic'. It is timeless and extremely relevant to the way the natural world works today - as it has always been. Nature has not changed her attitude because of fashion.

"Nature has not changed her attitude because of fashion." I just need to repeat that for emphasis. Brilliant.

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Dec 11, 2010

WikiLeaks Pokes the Untouchable Vatican

If the priestly abuse scandal has taught us anything, it's that the Vatican values secrecy above all other principles. Enter WikiLeaks and a fresh wave of embarrassment for the Holy See. Amongst other disclosures comes a behind the scenes look at the Vatican's refusal to cooperate with Irish authorities in their abuse investigation.

The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.

Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says.

Despite the lack of co-operation from the Vatican, the commission was able to substantiate many of the claims and concluded that some bishops had tried to cover up abuse, putting the interests of the Catholic church ahead of those of the victims. Its report identified 320 people who complained of child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004 in the Dublin archdiocese.

So it should come as no surprise that this airing of the secret communication about its right to keep secrets has deeply offended Vatican officials.

The Vatican hit back Saturday after cables released by WikiLeaks indicated it had refused to cooperate with an Irish probe into child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Dublin.

The Vatican press office expressed scepticism at the reliability of the reports in a statement that referred to "the extreme seriousness of publishing such a large amount of secret and confidential material, and its possible consequences".

As ever, the Vatican holds dear its right to stay above the fray. It's more a dispenser of judgment than a participant in justice; excoriating the Irish diocese for protecting and enabling abusers but only after counseling bishops to protect and enable abusers. It's a study in top down management where absolutely everything rolls downhill.

In recent years, the Vatican has relied increasingly on diplomatic immunity and its status as a sovereign state to prop up its illusory moral authority. The result is a kind of warped reasoning in which its lack of accountability equals lack of guilt.

This conflation of its role as moral arbiter and its position as an institution above the law will also be tested as it faces charges of money laundering. This is not the first time the Vatican Bank has faced charges of financial impropriety. For instance, an earlier attempt at a law suit by Holocaust survivors to recover Nazi wealth from the bank failed. And previous allegations of collusion with the Mafia resulted in suicides but largely avoided legal recourse.

Yet the scandal is hardly the first for the centuries-old bank. In 1986, a Vatican financial adviser died after drinking cyanide-laced coffee in prison. Another was found dangling from a rope under London's Blackfriars Bridge in 1982, his pockets stuffed with money and stones. The incidents blackened the bank's reputation, raised suspicions of ties with the Mafia, and cost the Vatican hundreds of millions of dollars in legal clashes with Italian authorities.

The Archbishop indicted in the Banco Ambrosanio scandal never even stood trial because of diplomatic immunity. Instead he lived out his days in sunny Arizona.

The current investigation faces similar hurdles.

The prosecutors' office stated in court papers last month that while the bank has expressed a "generic and stated will" to conform to international standards, "there is no sign that the institutions of the Catholic church are moving in that direction." It said its investigation had found "exactly the opposite."

Legal waters are murky because of the Vatican's special status as an independent state within Italy. This time, Italian investigators were able to move against the Vatican Bank because the Bank of Italy classifies it as a foreign financial institution operating in Italy. However, in one of the 1980s scandals, prosecutors could not arrest then-bank head Paul Marcinkus, an American archbishop, because Italy's highest court ruled he had immunity.

One wonders how much longer the Vatican will be able to defer responsibility for all wrong-doing that occurs under its auspices. In response to the WikiLeaks revealed documents they are now passing responsibility on to the individuals who wrote them.

The Holy See's press office Saturday urged the public to read the latest Vatican-related diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks with "great prudence," claiming the allegations cited in the documents reflect only the view of their writers.

Without going into specifics on a number of allegations that emerged with the U.S. cables, the Holy See Press Office said that the reports "reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself."

"Their reliability must, then, be evaluated carefully and with great prudence, bearing this circumstance in mind," the statement said.

Is there no messenger they won't kill? And to what end? As with most of the "cablegate" document dump from WikiLeaks, there is little actual news; only back-story. It's not like we didn't know that the Vatican weaseled its way out of testifying during the Murphy Commission. That's a matter of public record. But I guess when an institution expends as much energy sweeping things under the carpet as the Vatican does exposing any particle of hidden dirt is a grave betrayal.

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Dec 10, 2010


Newly discovered da Vinci code in France:

A coded manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in a public library in the French city of Nantes.

The document was found after a journalist came across a reference to it in a Leonardo biography, the library said.

. . .

The text is written from right to left in Leonardo's trademark mirror-writing and has yet to be deciphered.

James Arthur Ray is refusing to turn over audio recordings of his statements before the deadly sweat lodge. Gee, think they might be incriminating? Remember when Nixon refused to turn over some tapes? Maybe Ray can get a secretary to accidentally delete some things, too.

Witnesses stated that Ray made comments like "You may feel like you are going to die, but you won't" -- "if your bodies are feeling pain, that's alright you are stronger then that," and "it's okay if you pass out, you will not die."

. . .

Ray's team of attorneys have maintained that statements such as those were "taken out of context."

County attorneys are asking that Ray provide an audio tape of the briefing, held just before the sweat lodge ceremony, where those statements were allegedly made. So far, Ray's team has neglected to provide the tape, citing that he is not required to help the state meet its burden of proof.

This is me not being surprised that crystal technology is involved in this attempt to ape Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver.

Engineers have developed a device that is capable of moving and manipulating objects using only ultrasonic sound waves.

They say the technology could eventually lead to devices that can undo screws, assemble electronics and putting together delicate components.

The news will no doubt delight young fans of Doctor Who who have dreamed of owning a sonic screwdriver of their own after watching their hero use the tool to get himself out of many sticky situations.

. . .

Tiny crystals are made to vibrate by passing an electrical current through them, producing an ultrasonic shock wave in the air around them. This shock wave generates a force that can be used to push the cells. The size of the shock wave can be tuned to move cells of different size and so separate diseased cells from healthy ones.

Ufologists were disappointed when NASA's big announcement turned out to be about a newly discovered life form here on earth; albeit a strange one.

NASA-funded astrobiology research has changed the fundamental knowledge about what comprises all known life on Earth.

Researchers conducting tests in the harsh environment of Mono Lake in California have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in its cell components.

"The definition of life has just expanded," said Ed Weiler, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency's Headquarters in Washington. "As we pursue our efforts to seek signs of life in the solar system, we have to think more broadly, more diversely and consider life as we do not know it."

But WikiLeaks is coming to the rescue with the pending release of secret UFO files.

WikiLeaks will publish more secret US diplomatic files relating to aliens and unidentified flying objects (UFOs), said the founder of the whistleblower website Julian Assange and claimed his life was at risk after the recent expose.

Assange revealed he would publish classified US files about aliens and UFOs.

A Catholic priest in Texas graduated from sex crimes to attempted murder.

A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested on charges that he solicited a hit man to kill a teenager who had accused him of sexual abuse. Authorities said John Fiala first offered the job to a neighbor, who blew the whistle and helped police arrange a sting. They said Fiala got as far as negotiating a $5,000 price for the slaying before investigators moved in.

The 52-year-old clergyman was arrested Nov. 18 at his suburban Dallas home and jailed on $700,000 bond. In April, he was named in a lawsuit filed by the boy's family, who accused Fiala of molesting the youth, including twice forcing him to have sex at gunpoint.

The abuse allegedly took place in 2007 and 2008, when Fiala was a priest at the Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in the West Texas community of Rocksprings, a rural enclave known for sheep and goat herding.

Meanwhile, his Holiness has apologized for Vatican delinquency in another egregious case of priestly abuse.

Pope Benedict XVI lamented that the Vatican acted "slowly and late" in a scandal surrounding the Legionaries of Christ, and a Vatican official called Tuesday for an investigation into who covered up for the conservative order's disgraced founder.

The pope insisted, however, that the order has done good and should not be dissolved despite the double life of the late Rev. Marciel Maciel, who was discovered to have abused seminarians and fathered at least three children.

"Unfortunately we addressed these things very slowly and late," Benedict said in a book released Tuesday. "Somehow they were concealed very well, and only around the year 2000 did we have any concrete clues."

Maciel founded the Legion in 1941 in Mexico and it became one of the wealthiest and fastest growing orders in the Roman Catholic Church. Despite long-standing allegations that Maciel was a pedophile, no action was taken until 2006, when the Vatican ordered him to a lifetime of penance and prayer — though it did not say for what.

More esoteric news items can always be found in the Headlines feed in the right-hand column here.

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Tipping Points, Global Wars, and Secrets Revealed

The Time Monks seem to be leaning towards the WikiLeaks phenomenon as a major component of the tipping point. George Ure posted a note from Clif High regarding the "global war" language that was in the forecast for this period. (I, for one, was just not feelin' either the Iran or the North Korea panic. I just haven't felt like either of those looming crises was about to go off. But that's just me.) Anyhoo, it turns out the linguistics were probably predicting the escalating situation with WikiLeaks.

Lingo-Lango: First thing to notice today is a note from Clif about how language is filling in all over the place about what we’ve had in linguistics as ‘globalrev’ and ‘secrets revealed’ for quite some time now…
“dude…the NBC news and the ABC news and CNN are all now using our ‘global war’ language! only it is about the cyber wars against MC and visa! but the linguistics are there.

this is a big ass hoooray IF and it is the BIG IF….it does not turn out to be a wide meme.

HOORAY, i think? later..”
The “Hooray!” reference?  Better in our work to get just words rather than glassmaking mushrooms popping off, so this is a good thing….really….

Yes, I think we can all agree that a cyber war is better than a real, actual war in the "meat world." As the wife of a Marine, I very, especially prefer the former. Which is not to say that this couldn't get really ugly and inconvenient. For one thing, Ure recommends preparing for options to electronic banking. One reason I never agree to paperless billing is that I'm quite aware of how vulnerable the virtual world is to disruption. When in doubt, create redundancy.

Ure indulges in a bit of speculation on how strange things could get on teh internets as governments fight for control. (See here and here.) But this, in particular, jumped out at me.

But what it brings is this huge wryrony to the WikiLeaks discussion:  The web may already be moving beyond government control, since in a very real sense, the global economic system could be held hostage…

So when a reader send this:
“George, The BBC’s technology reporter, Maggie Shiels, said in her WikiLeaks report on Wednesday, “WikiLeaks themselves have said they’ll continue leaking the documents and, if you want to stop us, you’ll probably have to shut down the Internet.” –BBC World News, December 8, 2010″

Could we be looking at another Time Monk prediction coming into focus? Could WikiLeaks be a precipitating factor in the "data gap," otherwise known as the possible internet shut-down?

For my part, I've been watching the fall-out with increasing amusement. I'm pretty convinced now that the earth giving up one of her secrets thing I was getting pertains to WikiLeaks. As I said here, it's not that anything revealed so far has been earth-shaking. Most of it isn't so much news as confirmation and back-story. That even includes this horrible tid-bit about how our tax dollars line the pockets of a military contractor that employs and enables pedophiles. The "dancing boy" scandal is old, if disturbing, news, but that our ambassador was involved in quashing the story to protect "lives" is a new wrinkle.

I hadn't grokked until I read it in Ure's blog that "secrets revealed" was also a meme in the webbot linguistics but it affirms my own sense of things. What has emerged, in my opinion, as the most fascinating part of the WikiLeaks drama is how aggressively governments, ours and others, have gone after them. They are really in a tailspin. And even though the airing of all that diplomatic laundry has exacerbated tensions between all these countries, they seem to be bonding over the mutual desire to stuff the genie back in the bottle. The need for governments to work in secret -- even as they rifle through our emails, listen to our phone calls, and strip search us at airports --  trumps even the worst international disagreements. I also have to wonder if they know something we don't yet about how serious and shocking future revelations may be.

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Dec 8, 2010

When Magic Lamps Aren't Enough

You can always run your business like the Mafia.

The Secret brain trust loves to talk about how the universe is like a magic lamp. I've already addressed the supreme irony of relying on a genie analogy to explain how to get exactly what we want. (To sum up: Genies are tricksters.) But here we go again. Secret contributor Bob Proctor and an Australian vocalist named Michele Blood are off and running with a magic lamp of a book.

This revolutionary new book will open your consciousness to the truth of what wealth really is. This book could be the magic lamp you have been searching for!

This magic lamp comes complete with a brain pretzeling, mixed metaphor of a title: Become A Magnet To Money: Through The Sea Of Unlimited Consciousness. Proctor and Blood promise to teach, among other things, a successful marketing strategy. Here are some of the super exciting bullet points.

  • How to create and maintain a successful business plan
  • How to bring yourself and your product/business/service to the market place.
  • The benefits of how and where to network,
  • Marketing your website, business and yourself!

And yet, even with all their expertise in marketing, networking, and magic lamps, Michele Blood had to seek a higher authority when it came to the actual marketing and networking thing. (Not the magic lamps, though. When it comes to magic lamps, she's locked on.) That higher authority? Frank Kern.

If you're not familiar with Frank Kern, and I was not, multiple entries from the Salty Droid can bring you up to speed. Highlights include an internet marketing package that was made up of stolen code. Oops! More recently, the Droid uploaded footage from Kern's "Magic Bullet" seminar. Think Tom Cruise in Magnolia, but without the panache.

Magic bullets, magic lamps, magic whatever... Michele Blood beat a path to Kern's door. But she learned even more than how to "hammer the shit out of people" with ridiculous claims and how to repackage overpriced newsletters that you've previously "tricked people into subscribing to." She even learned more than Kern's all important commandment, "Thou shalt not be a pussy." Michele Blood got to participate in a little Q&A with the man himself in which he gave this stellar advice. "You have to run your business like the Mafia, but you shouldn't kill anybody... um... unless they fuck with you."

One thing you get very quickly about Frank Kern is that he likes to control things. From List Control to Mass Control to being the Godfather of a syndicate... that doesn't kill people... unless they fuck with him. (I think he's kidding about that part. I hope he's kidding about that part.) But if you listen to his entire answer to Michele Blood you find that he's really just using figurative language to explain how competitors can work together for the betterment of all by forming a sort of "trade union." He's talking about teamwork. Of course so was Robert De Niro's Al Capone in The Untouchables.

If the idea of the co-author of a "law of attraction" tome law of attracting a potty-mouthed, ethically challenged, modern-day, carnival barker seems odd, it shouldn't. Lest we forget, Michele Blood is currently riding the coattails of Bob Proctor who is still riding the coattails of Rhonda Byrne whose brain child The Secret has launched quite a list of notables. There's David Schirmer who was found guilty of financial malfeasance and banned from practicing in Australia for life. There's Denis Waitley who had to resign from his own company's board after it was discovered that he had filed fraudulent S.E.C. documents claiming non-existent higher degrees. And of course there's James Arthur Ray who will go to trial early next year for manslaughter after several people were baked to death in his sweat lodge.

Lest we forget, Bob Proctor won my particular ire for recommending willful denial as a path to success in The Secret.

I nearly fell out my chair when I heard "The Secret's" Bob Proctor advise that when you're feeling bad you should simply put on some music, because it would change your mood, and to "block out everything but that [happy] thought." Try that if you're clinically depressed. Just try it. Or if you are recovering from childhood sexual abuse. Or if you are one of our returning veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Even the joyous sounds of Steve Martin's banjo won't make you happy, and to suggest that it's that simple is insulting. And if you could block out all that pain, it would be anything but healthy.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Proctor teamed up with a vocalist who specializes in happy music. Yes, Become A Magnet To Money: Through The Sea Of Unlimited Consciousness is also a marketing vehicle for Ms. Blood's "Musivation." In fairness, I don't think her music would cause me to shut down and deny all my "negative" emotions. Ironically, I think too much of this and I would take to my bathtub with some razor blades.

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Dec 7, 2010

Sun Tricks

The sun did something pretty today. But don't worry it's definitely NOT a solar flare or that nasty Carrington Event we've been on the lookout for.

First, there is very little danger to Earth from this event. Prominences like this tend to be local to the Sun, and collapse after a few hours. As far as I can tell, there are no flares or coronal mass ejections associated with this, which are what can hurt satellites and power grids here at home. So rest easy, and enjoy the beauty of this thing.

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Dec 1, 2010

Revealing Secrets

In terms of the earth giving up her secrets, which I discussed here, this looks like what I was waiting for. Wikileaks is promising to out a major financial institution. If that information is revelatory and shocking and also embarrasses some governmental body, that would be in line with what I was sensing.  (The other possibility that I get an intuitive hit on could be something previously unknown regarding the torture scandal.) Obviously the recent Wikileaks dump has greater implications but none of it really speaks the gravity of revelation I was sensing. In fact, none of what I've read thus far has been terribly surprising. It does, though, facilitate the pattern that to my mind ties into the tipping point. That is the crumbling of international relations which is one of the major themes that is emerging. Having the internal communication of our diplomatic efforts exposed doesn't help. Bearing in mind the failure of the G20 summit to bring assurance of the dollar remaining as the reserve currency, the US is losing its grip on international hegemony. The implications of that are fairly staggering.

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