From the Beatles’ generation, today I am 64 years young! And the snow has come. This beautiful oak stands in the field by my mother’s house in Somerset.
What is Yggdrasil, the World Tree? A couple months back, when I first planned this post, Paul and I talked of it on the phone, and here are my initial jottings:
From Denmark (Norseland) and from across Europe came the disease which begins to afflict our ash trees. I believe it may be partly due to indiscriminate shipping of different strains among soils which are not their nativity. Cross fertilization is a law of Nature’s strength, as with pollen, but practiced in excess, it can lead to a local weakening of the natural immune system. The balance of the nitrates and minerals in the ground is affected.
The ash is a symbolic tree. The syllable prefixes Asherah, Ashtoreth, Astarte.
Ancient Canaanite texts and figurines suggest that Asherah was a hidden consort to JHVH – Yahweh. In the Old Testament, the Book of Kings houses the Goddess in the temple of Yahweh, but otherwise all mention of her became edited out.
Here is the gist of some research by Stavrakopoulos and J.Edward Wright: several Hebrew inscriptions mention JHVH and his Asherah. “Based on these remaining traces … we can reconstruct Asherah’s role in the religions of the Southern Levant. Asherah, an important deity in the Ancient Near East, was known for her might and nurturing qualities. She was also known by several other names, including Astarte and Istar. But in English translations Ashereh was translated as ‘sacred tree.'”
The figure is androgenous. She stands as the nurturing and birth giving feminine: she stands as a votive wooden column, a phallic Tree god, the perishable human body, penitence, the purifying power of Ash, the cremation, the innate Fire in the tree. In the masons’ Craft, she is even the Rough ASHlar – material to work on, to achieve perfection. Master R has said, “Humanity is a Great Work as yet incomplete … Short sighted intellects cannot see the Plan and interpret the unfinished work as failure; but from beginning to end of a cycle, all is in whirling motion, and the source of all is the Primal Will-to-Good. God’s clock strikes every minute, as we said long ago, and … it is still true that man’s clock scarce strikes perfect hours.”
And on revolution: “The revolution is internal, before it shows any outer signs, and its pitiful counterfeits are not to be confused with it. Nothing which exalts class consciousness is truly revolutionary, because the root of that lie, is the delusion of separateness. You will never see the brotherhood of man in actual operation while you exclude any human being from it.”
And: “The Great Work directs itself always toward the building of the Temple of Adonai. In its early stages, there are needs which do not continue throughout the building process. Yet men mistake the scaffolding for the building itself, and thus pay idolatrous reverence to old rules which have no longer any useful purpose. Watch therefore, O ye who would rule as the Lord rules, lest you usurp the rights of the Lord!”
When the Goddess is compromised or diseased, She may cut Herself back, to renew Her power. She is unaltered, but She retreats from our sight and pleasure.
Observing the consequence of our adulteration of Earth’s mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, and depletion of the biosphere’s natural immunity, we may yet cultivate in our Consciousness, the Yggdrasil, the World Tree. As co-creators of a tangible Universe, all form is the result and blend of thought: the mortar and pestle, the fragrant oil release.
I feel we live in a tide which is drawn back: a Yin retreat from our ignorant ravagings. It is our wake up call. Yet everything breathes in and out. The seamless indrawn and exhaling tide returns tomorrow or in a hundred years, in forms we industriously speculate, but cannot conceive. The Greater, Longer Thought transcends and encircles what we think we are. We are but a form of bio-catalyst within the Consciousness as a whole. We act out in miniature, a galactic quiver in the Solar System. It accelerates things from the bed. For us it is a question mark, not a conclusion.
A note from last year, among the jottings: “I have a situation here, which shapes itself in a delicate and unconventional way. Wait by the pool for the knot to loosen. Go dancing? Become objective. This is bliss: an absence of opera. Discriminate the nectar.”
At the risk of repeating earlier posts, I return to AUTOPOEISIS. The immune-shield shared by Earth, her biosphere, her magnetic field and her inhabitants, is an interwoven composite, like a nest of babuschka dolls.
Human thought-forms have to some extent invaded and abraded the thought which Nature gave us. We are forgetful, to say the least. Yet disciplined thought is cosmic Consciousness. Every single one of us has the capacity of our humanity as a whole, for a second, a moment or an hour, to affect the collective pattern. Why not? Are we, as instruments of life, that ineffectual? Why wait for governments, societies and supermarkets to do it? They are our lowest common denominator – the fate of most well meaning politicians. Start here, with the elixir. Begin here, from the inmost cave to irrigate the ground. Gravity holds every atom of the Universe together, but a single graviton is an apparent non-entity. We begin by loving our Self. The Kingdom of the subtle body is largely unexplored. Yet all it takes is recognition.
Commercial acceleration and exchange of the vital principle over many different lands, weakens or compromises the local “immune-system base”. Yet in the long term – Aquarius – it enriches our world immeasurably. Deeper trends cross-fertilize through an extended cycle, and fructify. In the short term, we suffer from vulnerability and a weakened immunity to disease and suspicion. Our symptoms reflect our attitude.
What attitude? The attitude, based on fear, is our belief in being separate, and therefore at risk. It is but a writing on the wall; there are innumerable ways to discover so. Paradoxically, a strong immune shield ceases to believe in an imaginary enemy which divides us; while becoming sensitive to Nature’s actual boundaries: what blends and mixes, and what doesn’t. I suppose it comes back to the mortar and pestle again – the old alchemists, who grind, shift and mix. After a while they see the stars in the ravens wing.
In the top of a baby’s head is a growing space for the bones. It is called a Fontanel, or fountain. Earth’s ozone shield, eroded like holes in a sock, is also a Fontanel, or tender place. The additional cosmic rays it admits include those which are beautiful beyond our present chrysalis, and which many consider dangerous. A similar event a little more than 2000 years ago, may have catalyzed the awakening of the Buddha: the Tathagatha, the Timeless One. During that historical period, other great Sages blossomed, including Yeshua son of Miriam. Their conversation encircled the Earth. The egg is warmed, and hatches the chick. It is an open question!
I understand the Tree Yggdrasil to be the holy Ash in Norseland, a sacred place of meeting: root and shoot where earth and sky together are channeled.
The following extract is from Wikipedia:
In the second stanza of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, the völva (a shamanic seeress) reciting the poem to the god Odin says that she remembers far back to “early times”, being raised by jötnar, recalls nine worlds and “nine wood-ogresses” (Old Norse nío ídiðiur), and when Yggdrasil was a seed (“glorious tree of good measure, under the ground”). In stanza 19, the völva says:
In stanza 20, the völva says that from the lake under the tree come three “maidens deep in knowledge” named Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld. The maidens “incised the slip of wood,” “laid down laws” and “chose lives” for the children of mankind and the destinies (ørlǫg) of men. In stanza 27, the völva details that she is aware that “Heimdallr‘s hearing is couched beneath the bright-nurtured holy tree.” In stanza 45, Yggdrasil receives a final mention in the poem. The völva describes, as a part of the onset of Ragnarök, that Heimdallr blows Gjallarhorn, that Odin speaks with Mímir‘s head, and then:
- Yggdrasill shivers,
the ash, as it stands.
The old tree groans,
and the giant slips free.
This theme, linking hands around our Yggdrasil, will be “Aquariel’s” journey this year, which just begins. There is much to discover.
Finally, here is an old man of the woods and sky
Aquariel – an angel of the waters and of the air through the woods of life.
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