This piece for the spring equinox, on Solomon, complements my previous post about the Priestess, and the ongoing “Parvati themes” in janeadamsart.


Photo by British Everest expedition 1922

Photo by British Everest expedition 1922 … 16,000 feet

Head Lama, Rongbuk Monastery, 1922

Head Lama, Rongbuk Monastery, 1922


“Harbour the culture through chaos.  Conserve the culture through chaotic conditions.   The capacity to do so, is oasis.”  

I see Tibet behind Mount Everest, and also the shy bend of the River Torridge in North Devon, its swift mainstream, its quiet circling backwaters which observe.   I put a photo of it at the end of Parvati Waters Trees.

Solomon’s wisdom is in the mountains and sages of each place of time, as in the lilies of the field.  Before I discovered this aspect pattern in my birth chart, I had intuitively adopted the Seal of Solomon as my guiding Star and logos.

ja birth chart

My mandala:  something inherited:  a dedicated way.  My birth was painfully delayed (for my mother) until the moment when the Ascendent “earthed” a hexagonal concordance with the Nodes, Uranus opposite Venus, and the Part of Fortune.   Subjectively I was aware from earliest childhood, of beauty, and the microcosmic fact of Macrocosm.  The harmonic for me, is inescapable, and converges many old apprenticeships and skills.  It is transpersonal.  I view it objectively, and try to serve it well.


So:  capacity to conserve a culture, creates oasis.

The medieval monks in Europe conserved the culture through chaotic conditions – war, pillage, waste.  They kept their prayer and their libraries going.  These too got pillaged, but always resurfaced and carried on, maybe a century later.   In Tibet, the Rongbuk monastery is back in business.  What the monasteries truly have, is eternal and indestructible.  The Eternal Life rebirths, in the covers of a book or a body-mind.

modern rongbuk monastery,

modern rongbuk monastery, …  that, above the cloud, is the summit!


Perhaps I am an old illuminator of the manuscripts, sitting in a chilly stone library, like I so often sit in my chilly kitchen, tinkering along in the inward warmth, and rise stiff and cold.   Perhaps I receive the same cherishing that I gave to the old manuscripts and their lettering and their wisdom.   Perhaps I am tonsured, and even the Librarian:  the keys are in my belt, with my rosary.  The damp smell of old stone and vellum.   Scraping scratch of feathered pens.   Cold feet, always:  often, cold hands.  The Glory. Where am I?   Norway? France? North Germany?

kolbe rosary detail

kolbe rosary detail

In my soul rests a romantic residue of the monastic life, the gothic arch, the songs of prayer, male harmonies, brothers.  Were those happy lifetimes?  Fulfilled?  I know by hearsay that in monastic communities every individual petty misery is magnified.  I came into this birth with the warning:  “don’t be so selfish”.

Well, I suppose my feet are in sandals, and my robe is brown, and I love the Mountains which are the books of wisdom, eternally.  The Mountains erode the pages and stand as they are.  I know historyI know that the Knowledge returns from the flames of petty pyres and reoccupies the libraries, as fresh as a daisy.


On DNA racial analysis – human groups:  lineage, Levite, the colours in the stitches of Africa …. Solomon sent ships down the Red Sea – sailors went on land – mixture of genes …  beautiful Ethiopians?   Many are of Jewish origin.  Solomon’s bride is dark and comely – as was Parvati, Siva’s bride.

My friend Sarah who looks so English and sensible, researched and discovered her ancient African gene ancestry:  her privilege to find and be this body, today’s result (in progress) of countless converging lines of history – a hinterland.


Young bedouin - bin Ghabaisha, from photo by Thesiger

Young bedouin – bin Ghabaisha, from photo by Thesiger.  War and …

DNA is a physical web or template.  It sustains itself unceasingly, and does not change.   There is an interplay of physical and Karmic webs with the strands of the Spirit.  Slowly the soul merges with the Infantile in the womb – she may come from far away;  the earth root is tribal.  The soul has the flexibility of good and evil and selection.

Sarah notices distinct facial types of kindred spirit, as among musicians and singers:  their carriage or enthusiasm, their shared eccentricity.

(In “Prayer to the Moon” – ( look for “Animist Blog Carnival: The Shape of Time & Other Things”) – I found a 1980s video of Carl Sagan demonstrating the extraordinary flexibility and precision of DNA models, “light years” inside the depths of the cell … )

I enjoyed trying to play some Bach yesterday, piano – Allemandes and Sarabandes from the French and English suites … spell them out slowly.  They are very beautiful.

Arcanum 9 hermit ... and peace

Arcanum 9 hermit … and peace


Solomon Re-Membered

GEMATRIA is the “spelling”, letter by letter, of the Hebrew Alephbeis.   Each letter is a living spirit, a gesture, a hieroglyph of Hashem the holy One, for someone like myself, who can’t read Hebrew !  They each have numbers, which add up, expand and correspond universally.  Gematria, the science of numbers, is a gymnasium, extraordinarily profound.  It may tempt the monkey mind, a torrent of clever associations – a tasty Law of Correspondences.

But gematria, to live and build with, needs to be held for a long time on the tongue, and relished.

Hebrew for The Stars

The word Ha-KVKaBIM the Stars, is 103, the number of EBeN Ha-ADaM, Stone of Adam,

and of BoNAIM, the builders, masons (Essene word),

and of GNaN, to hedge about, protect, shield,

and of HVA Ha ELoHIM “He is God” ,

and of MaGeDVN, rendezvous, place of Armageddon or meeting,

and of MaGeNI, my shield.

These all have the mutual linking number 103, and are holy breaths.   The stars are the dust of Adam Qadmon.  They are strung together as desert sands, to build Sanctuary, and to fence the holy ground of God.  At  “armaggedon“,  place of meeting, rendezvous, they are my shield.

(Note that a similar word, Magid, means “inner teacher, enlightened spiritual guide.)

The miracle-bearing seed of the Royal House of David, is brought to Bethlehem the House of Bread.   The yeast is pounded down to rise:  meditation pounds it down.

“We must come to the Meggeden, and place of rendezvous.”   We must come to a holy place of meeting, with the Companions of the Light.   What is meditation but a repeated thought?  How simple it is.   Any thought, repeated enough, will solidify and manifest.   Sustained reflection on “what is true?” produces what appear to be miracles, and helps difficult relationships to unravel and deliver, in any plane of being, or history.

“Rendez-vous” means “Render yourself.”   This same root is Surrender:  to the indwelling Shekhinah, the Daughter of the Seven –  indeed the Daughter of Jerusalem who is dark and comely.   He makes an appointment with Her.  He seeks Her out, and to her faithful lover, Shekhinah unveils.” (Paul Foster Case)

It is the Song of Songs!

So I get to work.

The Occult doctrine is:  The Stone of Adam is the union of the Father Hokhmah with Tifareth the Son – a great Star surrounded by seven smaller stars.

Arcanum 17, Star

Arcanum 17, Star


The Bonaim, builders, share the secret doctrine, as did the Essenes.  The Builders of the Adytum disagree with Essenic celibacy, but concur with the Rosicrucean Manifesto that “our building, although one hundred thousand people had very nearly seen it, shall forever remain untouched, undestroyed and hidden in the wicked world.”


Paul Foster Case

Paul Foster Case


The pure teaching and practice of the Ageless Wisdom is not designed to be popular or to attract large numbers.  It is targeted.  It is the Adytum or Sanctuary in the third eye.  Paul Foster Case wrote, “In an unenlightened man it is in the same condition as the Temple at the time of David.  The materials are gathered, but cannot be erected into a temple by David, the warrior and man of blood.  They must wait for Solomon, whose name (Shalom) signifies “peaceful”.”

Then the Psalmist – his entire emotional spectrum in the Songs –  was the Shield for Solomon’s Song and Seal within.  Magendovid means “Shield of David” – for the Star itself is Solomon’s Seal.  David is “the Beloved”.  In modern Israel, the Temple – except in some communities, and in vistas far transcending politics – is relatively dormant.  The magendovid became a secular flag.  But the Covenant is in the air we breathe.

“Solomon comes down to us largely as allegoryHis name is the rising Sun:  SOL OM ON – Latin, Sanskrit, Egytian.  Each syllable and the triad which combines them, symbolises Tifareth.”

 (Paul Foster Case)

Solomon's Cube, Emblem 6

Solomon’s Cube, Emblem 6

The Covenant, the Shekhinah, is placed in a Cubical room.  This is the flower at the heart of the Cube of Space, extending toutes directions:  JHVH and the weathercock.  Here and now, it awakens.   When the i-habit drops into the deep, the Covenant arises;  words or phrases trickle through the silence one by one.   This is the goal of spiritual exercise:  to grasp the Staff of peace.   The Staff is the Key to all history, and is common to each soul who finds it again.  The Staff is the collective cosmic Knowledge – Daat on the Tree of Life –  when Solomon’s Seal with the Cube it forms, AWAKES.   Where else can it awake, but here?

BOTA cube, star, weathercock

BOTA cube, star, weathercock

Before the Cube of Solomon awakes, tools to build the Temple lie on the ground waiting for instruction.  Their fascinating flat shapes in theory were and are seized and discussed by the learned of all cultures …  like the story of the Elephant and the Blind Orthodox Scholars … like  fragments of a mirror to put in a museum.

elephant story

But inside the invisible Elephant, a sage and student stroll towards sunrise … the interior light and conversation common to All:  the heart.

solis luna conjunctio

Isis gathered the scattered pieces of Osiris, to conceive from him their child Horus.  When the Seal of Solomon is re-membered, in a twinkling it catches fire and VOLUME, a burning bush in the heart:  eternal Life.  Then I know I am a little lens placed near the ground, for the Cosmic prayer of Natural State unceasing.   I am a raindrop.  I am given the moment shared, which hides the scholarly centuries.

Before it strikes, I don’t know what or where it is.  When it strikes, it is unsought, innocent and entire.  Sacred geometry enkindles it.   The magendovid protects and kindles my desire to let it pass on through my transparency.  When this movement sings in the temple of the soul, I am stepped beyond the petty reasonings, petitions or words of the world.  Here is source, like the language in the church roof in The Knight.   I, the smudgy creature on the floor, pick up the correlation and scribe it.  Scribing, as in monastic lifetimes, holds my attention here in sanctuary.

Nothing in all the world is as repetitive as the Ageless Wisdom in the blood:  the pulse.  The drum of the rain.

So many temple cloths and churches get torn down, to disclose again the Adored ADONAI, KABOD the Glory.

Whatever may happen for secular Israel, the beauty of its hidden communities flowering over rock, salt and sky, extends far and near, like sturdy ground-climbers, and will survive and prevail as the human core:  peace.  At the root of all Israel’s thought is SOLOMON, Shalom, the peace:  keep the peace, even through concrete walls.   In this broad picture, the secular combat is a house of cards – a delusion.  It rose and fell many times in the old and new testaments.

“The truth is:  war will not work.  The peace is not with the politicians, but in the heart of the people.  The peace is in the young of both sides, who are tired of the war.”   

I feel and smell the sweet wind, the milk and honey.   The delusion and mutual enemies are a curtain to go right through, to collapse:  it is but a second in the pause of God.   We Judaeans, Levites, Arabians, Kurds, Chaldeans and Yemenites are a people of Allah, a city of JHVH, and as the everyday mindset, mostly we forget this;  and when we forget, we suffer and are tense with an enemy around us, or busy/superstitious with our golden calves.

An ancient habitation of my soul has roots in the silver sand no wind removes – the tablets of the Mountain.  Back in 1971, travelling a tiny corner of the Sahara, I saw the Book of the Ages:  no human fancy, chemistry or invention is other than the strata of those rocks and dunes, and the faces and histories the wind draws.  I saw where ‘I’ begin, between grains of sand numberless as those of Ganges in the Buddha nature.

I would not have this understanding, had not my soul been Jewish, many, many times …  as well as being a scribe in Christendom, strange yet integral descendent of Judah:  the Word is love.   As a keeper of the Book, keep practicing.   Hold the flame, keep it burning.   It gathers its own.   ‘Gathertegen’ was my imaginary childhood city of God, where all the best toyshops were.   It is in the gentlest of the breath, the rising falling tide…  the immense horizon of the view.

When Moses came down the Mountain … when Yeshua went up the hill to pray …   In Moses the Holy One struck a match aflame and spoke:  “I AM THAT I AM – go and tell them that.”  In Yeshua the YOD is Father, his source:  for give.


Each morning when I write, I go up the hill to pray, not remembering why, until I am here.  The spark is Netzach, the friction of life.   In a motor, this generates the engine.   Netzach is Nature, the Tree of Life’s power base.   The friction of lightning and rain in Earth’s aeons, generated life.  The friction of male and female re-kindles the soul, a lamp in the womb for the soul.

Hebrew for shema israel


A very old man sings this, his movement of ancient joy and sorrow down the generations, eternally young.  It rocks his cradle and tefillin.  He told me that after his son was born, he ran naked into the salty sea to release his tribute to Shekhinah.

Egyptian AmunRa brought forth the cosmos from his penis, self pleasuring, God to behold God.   Which of the Schools dare to tell us, that God’s condition is joy?  Genesis is joy?  The tsim-tsum is joy?   Erotic, cosmic joy?   It is too intimate to be “believed in” !   (Messiaen’s music, sometimes:  Turangalila 4th mvt, and Turangalila 5th mvt, Joie du Sang des Etoiles.  Just try dancing out the cobwebs to this! /and see the Picasso drawing on the second one./ And if possible, get hold of Andre Previn’s 1978 recording of Turangalila.)

Every atom of the universe is joy.   This is our seed, our being.   Look at the vast numbers of ways this is misconstrued, abused, misinterpreted – such drab fantasies about virgins in paradise.

The propaganda develops when the fact of joy is forgotten:  when local intellect usurps and obscures the fact, it gradually fashions a sitting duck for its own invention – the self-destruct.

Yet everything both light and dark, is a version of God unto God.  What dogma closes and confines?  What opens, heals and liberates?

Arcana 6 Lovers - Version 2

Arcana 15 devil


If I lived the devil backwards, I see the point again.   This is what Arcanum 15 reveals and teaches:  dissolving the cramped effigy on his throne, into 6, the Lovers at Tifareth who give each other space and time.


Star Cross & Crescent

Star Cross & Crescent

Star, Cross and Crescent … let there be peace.

Peace and let there be peace to all beings, is a dry formula only, rattling on the sand, until stirred with the Water of Life – Yeshua turned away from the rabble and drew in the sand –  a reality of joy, a reality of Sangha.   This Sanskrit word for “Companions” is the same as the French for blood – Sang-Real:  the Grail, the bloodline, the carrier of the Sun:  SOL.

The Holy Grail is not a Cup or category.  The Holy Grail is a transmission, the bloodline, the Family of God, the JHVH.  It has no end;  and we see within, our Self.


Rudra Immerses

The myths of Siva-Rudra’s linga, thrust into the Water of Life, were sustained by yoga.  The moments of human ecstasy, eros and Light are brief in the daisy chain. The stems of the daisy chain are interwoven.  So we find out how to concentrate that continuity, the seed in the vessel.  Oak in the acorn.  The deep human learning curve is to forsake a “selfish” sexuality, to convert erotic feeling by metanoia, to the common good.   Tantra and alchemy have the practice, and it is the language all mystics use.   Some versions are celibate, but this is not mandatory.

ida craddock sketch

ida craddock sketch

The mandate is a  spiritualized, subtle, sustainable sexuality:  a Sivaic perpetuity before the peak as it were.   Through this medium, transmission flows.   It is similar to the radiation from rocks and flowers, human to human, star to star.   Ida Craddock taught it to Victorians, and was hounded to her death by outraged male chimney-pots and the church.  They were scared of having their black holes in petticoats taken away from them.  The Pulpit thundered.

Sexual honesty is a human Achilles heel:  the preference is fantasy, guilt, romance, fast in-and-out, and domination.   Sexual-spiritual Odyssey is likely to explore any one, or some of these completely, towards the light.


sunmoon seal of solomon


Then I remembered and found this bit of Solomons Song …
verses by Alan Jacobs and JA, June 1995

“For dark am I, and ardent,
singed and seared by scorching sun
to taste the vine.”

“Our house has beams of cedar,
our bed is green, your eyes are doves in flight.”

“As an apple among the wood,
do you stand out from youth,
I bask beneath your shade
and your fresh fruits are sweet as truth.”

“O that your left hand rest over my head,
your right hand in my heart!
Daughters of Jerusalem
awaken not Love, till He wills …
Hear His voice! how bounding over hills
my lover leaps
like stag or young gazelle,
gazing in through our lattice.”

“Scent of green fig,
oh dove, hidden in rocky clefts,
let me see and touch your face –
catch the little foxes that maraud the vine.”

“How fair you are, my darksome dear,
your eyes behind your veil are doves,
your raven locks are flocks of goats
descending Gilead in silken droves.”

“Your teeth are a herd of sheep just shorn,
come up from Jordan’s streams:
each with lambs is blessed, not one unborn,
your lips are scarlet thread that gleams.”

“Your cheeks are pairs of pomegranate
in a veil of wind swept fields,
your neck is King David’s tower of granite
hung with a thousand warriors’ shields.”

“Your two breasts as pair of soft young roes,
feed among lovely lilies white
till break of dawn with the rose
as shadows flee the light.
I will rise and reach the mountains of myrhh
and hills of golden frankincense.”

“Your lips sip sweet as honey comb,
the milk beneath my tongue,
your fragrant robe as fresh as foam,
a love-locked garden rose, my bride so young.”

“Sealed spring, a crystal fountain
cinnamon scent of orchard spice
streams down the sacred mountain,
aloes, henna, nard and saffron rice.”


“I sleep, but heart and soul awaken
to my lover at the door: his voice to my plight
calls:  open my sister, beloved, by me be taken,
my head is wet with dew, my locks with drops of night.”

“My lover thrust through the door’s latch his hand,
my bowels were moved for him, so dear.
I rose to my beloved, to see him stand,
my fingers dripped sweet scent of myrrh.”

“I opened;  but how? he had turned and gone! 
What did he say? the soul within me failed. 
All night I sought him, till the dawn 
calling his name, grief struck, impaled.”


“The watchmen found me, lost in the city
as they were going about;  they beat and bruised me.
Keepers of walls, they had no pity –
tore away my cloak, defiled and used me.”

“I charge you O daughters, if you find
him, tell
 him I am sick and faint with love.”

“As cedar of Lebanon, tall his frame,
 my bridegroom, beloved his name.”


“Where did he go?
to his rose garden fled. 

I am his;  the beloved is mine. 
He browses in the lily bed.”

“In my nut garden standing still,
the golden Sun sinks into a silver Sea.”

“My love, like a wild stag
or young gazelle,

abounds on mountains of spices:
all is well.”

A.J. 1995

Arcana 6 lovers - Version 1




Aquariel – an angel of the waters and of the air through the woods of life.

COPYRIGHT – All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

Cathedral Building: The Priestess


priestess of Isis 2003

priestess of Isis 2003

This is a sequence of meditations on the Tarot High Priestess and on Cathedral building.  I wrote them down in about 1991, just before I learned of vesica pisces.   Vesica pisces is the compass of sacred architecture.  You put a stake in the ground and string to walk a circle around it;  you intersect it with a further circle whose centre is on the circumference, and so on, as the petals grow.  The proportion flowers to a Plan on which the Stone safely stands.

I have some more material about the Priestess and the Moon specifically :  for a later post.


20 September 1991 – Behind the Rampart:  Solitude

“The divine principle of that which belongs to it,  the perceptions of the pure intelligence, conceal themselves behind the rampart of the body.”

“The Lord and Author of all things whom we call God,  brought forth a second God, visible and sensible … not because he himself has sensibility,  but because he is perceptible to the senses.”   (The Universe,  the Son or Word made flesh)

“In the manifold way of universal life,  the innumerable individualities distinguished by their variations are nevertheless united in such a manner that the whole is one,  and everything proceeds from unity. 

“  … Lend me now all the powers and penetration of thy thought;  for the idea of Divinity which cannot be conceived save by divine assistance resembles a rapid stream precipitating itself onward with impetuousity,  and often therefore outstrips the attention of the listeners and even of him who teaches.”

Hermes Trismegistus:  The Virgin of the World



sleeping beauty, 1957

sleeping beauty, 1957


A Journey

… CONTEMPLATION now opens into the knowledge that my consciousness is but a point of space in limitless space — not the familiar body at all.

It is a bit vertiginous.   There’s a slight feeling of vertigo, with my awareness working its way ADRIFT. Endless space it is,  it is space with no end, to plummet infinitely deep in all directions.   But it isn’t fear.   It isn’t fear when taken into the heart.

The concept is similar to being in intergalactic cosmos I suppose.   But the reality is that all substance, all matter, every kind of “support” subatomizes to space, to the quantum of being.

The feeling of this was especially strong – it came on while I was sitting at my kitchen table eating my supper and reading Hermes T.  – the passages above; with household chores undone, and chaos everywhere.   My elbow on table, bum on seat, every act or object is  limitless, a sacred invitation within reality, within each dot or point of space … everywhere … the point of it all:  contact.   Touch.  Bottomless contact with the Earth.

Or into measureless depth of water float.   Stay … this “adrift” feeling, opens.   It is hard to leave the shelter of the rock and push off into this  …    (I want to.)  SAMADHI must be when all the dots or points of nothingness open into incandescent and simultaneous Being.

Anyway,  it brought a slowly approaching hint (like just before dawn).  I am the soul or inner fact of the world,  even though there are still thoughts and person-ego, etc.

It wasn’t possible to read or do anything for a bit.   The desire was to sit with it quietly.   So I did.

Small planet Earth in Space.

Knowing this is frightening.   But with a pure and interested party being investigative,  what is there to fear?   To hang out in and as the slowly developing idea of all directions of space without time, doesn’t frighten.  There is beingness,  only beingness,  all alone.   Yet only this must be wanted.

Have I the strength to let go of the rest?

The Cross


 21 September 1991 – Tools to Build a Cathedral 1

Like the Magus in the First Arcanum,  the Priestess has a set of vocational tools.   They correspond to the Second Degree of the mason’s Craft,  and are read in the Hermetic Cross over her heart.   They are the Plumb,  the Level and the Square.   Correspondingly, these same tools on the Tree of Life are the Triad of the Soul – Hesed, Gevurah, Tifareth.

Hesed is Jupiter (expansion and grace), Gevurah is Mars (severity and restraint) and Tifareth is the Sun (the seat of the inner ruler, the heart, consciousness.)

My view is that levels of initiation are basic, few, and universal.  They are the Law.  Further and higher degrees refine the application.  An Initiation awakens Consciousness in a region which was blind.  Any one Initiation applies to life, and may take many years, even lifetimes.

“Only those who do the Work for its own sake are initiated.  Only the individual who wants to make manifest what Kabbalah reveals, can be an ‘Initiate’.

Zev ben Shimon Halevi

What follows is my own line of discovery.


1A blend of various traditions.  This drawing, and some of the section which follows, is inspired by The Way of the Craftsman by W.Kirk McNalty – a study of the symbolic structure of craft freemasonry, by a Kabbalist.

Tools of craft Masonry - after Kirk McNalty

Tools of craft Masonry – after Kirk McNalty


Method, Root and Shoot

Take first the Plumb.  This drops a weight from boundless sky to gravity.   Does it balance and straighten the spine, to build a Cathedral?   The plant roots downward and shoots upward, like the flame of Siva.

Let this movement be a plummet to sink restless mental waves deep down into foundation,  the waters of the interior well.   Let it fall now,  fall through the column of my body, through the chord of spine to its root and beyond,  deep down and out into space, beyond my seat, beyond my tail.   That hidden sphere of space, like the borderless blue night, expands.   It has no speech or picture.

As the plummet sinks, the white flame of Siva rises into the empyrean … like a sunflower.

Feel the core of this ascending/descending stillness.  Feel it stretch: the opening of the grain of space from within the seed of space.   Now time is not here.   I am not.   There is only an opening and informing Source of this moment,  this current.

There came a sense of desolate solitude,  of vertigo in the infinite, being only one point in the infinite, wobbling.   No “friends”.   No thoughts.   No supports.  The Earth in endless space shrinks into the personal-ego and all its possessions. I am afraid because there is nothing around me.   Who am I?   Where are my feet?

This vertical expansion – the Plumb –  widens horizontally, like opening out the arms,  to each side, to see … that Isolation also is Not.

The “emptiness” is a congeries of opening “points” or subatomic sources of itSelf.   All of these are.   All are empy for all, and each to each, are equally awareness;  a being in touch.   The I is not an astronaut.   The I is emergence … everywhere, as here … of the inward, measureless grains of space for it.   In this way, inexplicably, I find a lateral sustenance.  Vertigo vanishes.

My thought feared for its possession, falling into the grain of space.  But reality  does not wobble, nor does it choose.   All is well.

My momentary silence hears the tune or current of the world.   Let the being of the many I … let it breathe.   Rest within it.   This is the horizontal tool that corrects and levels.   It is the Spirit-level of the mason.  It integrates my formlessness with the walls and windows of life.

The sea, very deep, swells back and forth,  breaking over old rocks which rise out of it.   The surface of the sea is veiled and turgid with the wind.   As I watch,  it seems the wind disappears,  the swell diminishes,  and the surface of the deep sea loses its wrinkling.  It becomes a mirror clear and calm to the shining sky.

pembroke coast


The Plumb belongs to the Active Pillar of Force on the Tree of Life.   It opens and expands the Sefira of Grace (Hesed) in a Jovian crescendo of consciousness.  The plumbline finds and opens the well.

The Spiritlevel, on the Pillar(passive) of Formation, brings in the factor of restraint.   As “judgement” it sharpens the critical eye to produce a plane from all points of the line,  and to be the structural Gevurah.

The vertical movement is “To Will”.   The horizontal movement intersecting it is “To Be Silent.”

And so the Square,  or right angle tool at Tifereth, the seed or point of intersection, focusses, adjusts and corrects the relationship and aesthetic balance of the Plumb and the Level.   It is Self correcting.   Here is consciousness.   Watch any bricklayer at work, with his vertical and horizontal pieces of string.   Watch a dowser for hidden water with a pendulum and a map.

This is the building of Cathedrals … on the spot, wherever I am.

master mason tools - note the Compass on the Plan

master mason tools – note the Compass on the Plan


The Widows and the Sons of the Widow

The Western face of the Cathedral has two round Rose windows.  Through these two eyes, the rays of the setting sun enter to journey East … to the Sunrise itself … (through the ISIS of night to the resurrection of OSIRIS).  In the great Cathedral, East and West come to meet one another through the great arch or vault of its pillars, North and South — Bohaz and Jakin.

Rays of sunrise are eyes to see.   Look into your own eyes, and you shall see.   Consciousness is travelling from West to East, towards Sunrise.   The priestess in the cathedral is the rood screen upon which consciousness travels and is projected.   But consider now this Second Arcanum!   Is not the priestess herself travelling blind?

The pillars in whose Middle Space she sits,  are the Sun and the Moon to her own right and left.   If we are on Earth’s Northern hemisphere,  I see from this that the Pillar of the Sun to her right must be due South, while the Moon to her left, representing the night, is due North.  So she herself is journeying Eastward !   towards …

High Priestess - Arcanum 2

High Priestess – Arcanum 2


The spectrum through “Yang” and “Yin” of the light, south and north, symbolises day and night.   In the primal unity of opposites, the seed consciousness is a whole rotation through states manifest and latent, like the behaviour of the mysterious electron.   In the fourth dimension, all states are the One which is their seed.  The eyes of the priestess are veiled, so she travels in the dark.  (A new degree initiate to Masonry, is blindfolded first.)  The disk of the Moon between her horns, however, receives on its face the full light of the Sun.   So the Moon is Full, in exact opposition to the Sun.   This, in the old Tridentine Mass,  is the position of the Celebrant to lead and receive the Communion.  Towards the altar with his back to the congregation, he leads them and concelebrates.  He is their eyes, facing sunrise.

At Full Moon, when the sun rises on the Eastern horizon, the moon is setting opposite, at the Western antipodes.    Receiving the Sun’s light here in full, for a moment, two lamps in equilibrium, the moon then disappears below the horizon.  She “travels” through the dark fortnight towards conjunction, symbolic reunion.

Thus the priestess,  the bride or “Yin” of ADONAI, passing the antipodeal crest of FULL differentiation, makes her journey eastward along the chequered pavement to orient her knowledge within … “I”.   For “I” am the witness, the place of meeting, of marriage.


Tarot priestess 2003

Tarot priestess 2003


She is the feminine priestly power of a congregation.  She also, very swift and still,  is the LAMB.   She sees me rise.   I rise in the East.   I fill her with light, to travel through the dark.   For I am OSIRIS.   I am receiving …  through long ages of my sister ISIS …  an osmosis of all the earthly fragment of my body … up into the arms of my whole Light.   And when we are wed at dawn, she rises with me, and has disappeared.

Here is a mystery clear and bright with paradox, of sacramental sacrifice.   In Arcanum Two, the priesthood is the Bride of the Lamb of God:   the oracle.    Arcanum Four – The Emperor – carries the 5th letter, HEH.   This letter is assigned to Aries and the spring equinox.   He is the Ram, or Lamb.

human pentagram

human pentagram

In Arcanum Five, we shall meet the High Priest, or Hierophant.   His number “Five” refers to the apex of the four elements, or sides of a pyramid,  and also to the divine spark of prana or breath, which enters the clay of life.   In the human Pentagram (YOD HEI SHIN VAV HE ,  Jehoshua, Iesu or “JAH LIBERATES”) he is redemption.   He offers his person to the translation.

But the Hierophant is an adaptation of the Priestess.  His letter is VAV, his sign is Taurus, the Bull whose horns the Priestess wears.

The Moon – the Priestess – is exalted when it is in Taurus, for plants open their flowers to the Taurean season – April and May.    The earth produces abundantly, and people have “green fingers”.   Taurus is ruled by Venus.    The tides of earth and moon together, when Taureanly attuned, symbolize our subconscious in mature operation.


BOTA tarot key 2

BOTA tarot key 2


I read of a masonic tradition called “The Sons of the Widow”.   These are “Masters” upon whom the builders of the Cathedrals would call,  when in need.   In this tradition the Craftsman or builder is journeying from West to the East,  to seek help and instruction.   The Master mason (a Son of the Widow,  or of Man before the Fall)  simultaneously comes to meet him from the East.   On this journey, the Master is looking for something which was lost when the Temple was nearly complete.   In the legend,  Hiram Abiff the chief architect of the LORD, was murdered by two Companions (who wished to possess his powers of operation, and the plans of the Temple)  and hastily buried under a sprig of acacia (springlike)  which revealed to his avengers the deed.   The secrets of the Master were buried with him,  for they are not available to the ungoverned desires of the non-integrated psyche.   They have to be earned.

Light and Shadow 1987, after Eliphas Levi

Light and Shadow 1987, after Eliphas Levi

The Craftsman and the Master mason  are coming together to repair a loss.   They travel the East-West meridian of the setting and rising sun, along which the body of Hiram Abiff was buried,  to complete a sacred Circle that is never complete.         ( … “for mine eyes have seen the Glory …”)

Across the meridian of light there is an arch.  Solomon’s two original pillars,  Jakin and Bohaz,  were “constructed hollow for storage”.   It is said they were built of brass and cast in clay ground outside the Temple.   They are functional pillars of the psyche.   They are the archive.  In their great dual granary are stored as rebirths, deaths and memory, the active and passive seeds of History – the moving surface of the waters.   The pillars portray the masonic Rule of Three.   Their polarity is balanced and neutralised by the evolution of the Third Pillar:  this is Self-awareness –  the gnosis of the Just Man in the space between, like violet incense spiralling toward the lofty vault;  Jacobs Ladder at every point of meeting.

The height of the pillars, or twin spires of a Gothic cathedral, is ballasted by their depth and strength of foundation.   The visible shape heavenward of a great and ancient tree, hints at the hidden sky “below”.   The stem and flowering of the tree reflect as in water the stem and flowering of its subterranean root bowl.   Tree, what a many branched bowl of sky is yours!    Above as below, what a starry sky of stars!   The higher the pillar, the deeper it penetrates the ground and heart – the Masters’ Eye.

And so, the two round Rose windows, through which the rays – (of sunset, or of the moon opposite sunrise) – peer into a cathedral, are themselves the pillars of sight,  south and north.   My eyes are windows.   Who is looking inward?   Who travels in space?

seeds of light


In ritual,  the pillars of the inner world are approached as a doorway.   There may be a password, prayer or mantra to offer, before being invited in:   or the condition may be dark, or silence.   The veil is drawn back to an approach of inner peace.   What is then seen may have no name or form.   The nature of the work accords with provide-ence and its karmas.   But Meister Eckhart,  journeying among his congregations in fourteenth century Germany from door to door, told them God does His deepest and most mysterious Work in the soul which is at rest.

As well as the pillars and three tools,  the chamber of the Second Degree of masonry contains the bodies of the sun and moon,  the globes of terrestrial and celestial providence,  and the mysterious single letter “G”.

In a nutshell the gesture is:  to see within, be still and touch source.  This is the meridian of light, consciousness, west, east.   Across it there appears the meridian of earth, the archway north, south.   This is the membrane or prima materia, the task of space and time, to grow.   The resistance is the open door when welcomed.  Embrace both planes with arms open wide.  Feel their simultaneous expansion .

 “all experience is an arch where thro’
gleams that untravel’d world whose margin fades
for ever and for ever as I move …”


 The archway is our parents, through whom we look, learn and grow.

parental gothic arch

parental gothic arch


22 September 1991 – Visitors to Ramana’s Ashram

This morning I went again into this business with the Plumbline and the Level and found it to be a sound “method” or tool.   The sinking of the plummet opens up the spine, perhaps a trace of kundalini or serpent awakening.   There was a feeling of ascent and expansion. The “I” sensation opens and is proud in the upper spine.   Be aware with it, and bring it back into the heart.   Ask “who”.   Let the question be there – that is sufficient.

In so doing, the horizontal beam crosses the vertical, and becomes the mason’s Level.   So the horizontal arms of the Hermetic Cross bring that lateral dimension of space and of being, into play.   Self enquiry, from the point of intersection, defuses any tendency to inflation.

This inner gesture offers up my will to:  THY WILL BE DONE.   This is the prayer for my personality and conditioning to be less obstructive to truth.   It seems yet a considerable “way ahead”;  but I feel the opening of that Way,  nor am I impatient.   Evolution back into source,  into realisation,  is given acording to the Will.   It is all the time here and now the clearing of shadow to be able to see.

Tunnel vision open wide

Tunnel vision open wide


I know and joyfully accept that the time frame for my realisation is immaterial.   There is no “me” to be realised.   There is realisation.   It is a fait accompli … in Ramana, and in others, plain as a gooseberry, and I don’t care how many more births it takes, or how long it has already been,  how much grittiness to be borne.   It is …  in full leaf, like the summer of a tree.   Clap hands for joy!   All this is realisation.   Ramana went through everything.   Then everything disappeared in him.   The in and out of this is beauty.

The granule of eternal living-space, of enquiry, opens.   The tree of life is my body.   The spiritual heart is a little to the right and the physical organ a little to the left, of centre.  Can I see my eye which gives me sight of the world.   Can I with my mind describe the place from which the seeingness arises?.   But in this place there rests – neutrally at first – a knowledge of beauty and of balance,  and of the delicate and continual adjustment of  planes of being.   Watch a cat about to pounce;  he concentrates, moving from side to side before he springs.   Watch an artist, architect, dancer or lover of geometry at work.   Watch the bricklayer on the building site, with his vertical and horizontal pieces of string, stepping back and forth.

The Square or Rightangle is a perpetual instrument of focus in Tifareth.   It is a point of isness, of awareness.   Practice is a fraction steadier than before.   I am certain that this is right.   That is why it is called the “rightangle” of the Cross.   From fluid centre flows forth an energy of love, like the growth of a flower through earth.     There is a deep and matter-of-fact intuition of the symbols of  Christ.

As the arms of the Cross are open wide,  so is the breath or prana.   Like the ascent in an aeroplane through cloud to brighter upper regions, comes a barely perceptible “knowingness” of an inner light or element to breathe which is pure and cool … and rooted in the ground.


These are gleams of perception.   They are not bursts of ecstasy.   Apart from concentration’s effort to keep my mind still,  I see no visions, hear no voice, nor anything tangible.   This used to disappoint me during “guided meditations” in which it was suggested that I should.   At its best, there is nothing.   There is an intensity of focus,  and a wide quiet pool of space.   At the same time I am aware of my body.   A few very simple ideas or shapes, barely sketched – like the Cross,  like the fact behind the sentimental ikons,  like the heart of the Rose within – ripen and become more solid later;  for instance right now while writing this.   Truly there is the continual faculty of mental distraction,  of thoughts and plans like importunate aspirants …….

Importunate aspirants?    Ah – the cat pounces!   What a revelation!   that my thoughts themselves come with their burden of problems and property, like pilgrims to the Temple !    This is why – now I realise!  I am shown – why visitors to my inner Ashram should not be turned away but welcomed, without hurry and without opinion …  like the way Sri Ramana received all people, animals,  all thoughts of the world that approached His granite couch in the Hill,  day or night.

The enquiry is deeply into and along the current of each visitor, without hurry and without opinion.  It does not reinforce belief in the surface shape or costume of the visitor’s problem.  It gives space and healing and recognition to … the life force which approaches the sage for awareness from within the problem – from within the fluid gesticulation of her colourful silk sari and gold bangles.   The smile of the sage enters into and receives her.

Ramana Maharshi

I first saw or felt the “compassionate” receptivity of thoughts within myself when I attended my first satsang with the London Ramana group a week ago.   There stood a small head and shoulders portrait of Sri Ramana,  with a chunk of red rock from the Hill,  a vase of pink lilies,  some incense, the red dust and white ash of Shiva, and a candle.   And there sat souls, in all of whom dances the Self:  Alan, Alasdair, Rhoda, Nair …

Of course,  the thought tends to feel SO IMPORTANT that it chatters on about its family, the state of the harvest and the economy.   But it is not my enemy.   They are all – each domestic samskara is – my own Self.  I felt the current which strives within all thoughts good and bad, dark and light, complex or noble,  worried or whatever, and how sacred, indestructible, naked and beyond the word it is.


ramana & mother


I can see the lady in the sari.   She is his mother.   She squats on the ground by the cave of her long-nailed shaggy-haired emaciated young son in the hot sun.   With every power of persuasion the eloquence of her voice and pliable brown hands, bangles a-jingle can employ,  she weeps, implores and begs him to come back to his family like a good son and have a square meal.   They will build a little temple over him if that is what he wants.

Her young son replied to her with a silence which,  pouring from those dark eyes,  at last one day drew her into the Cave of the Heart, with him  …   whom she had never left.

This is a wonderful mystery of the whole shakti universe being received back into Shiva,  into the ALEPH:   its child.


“….no problem should now worry me.   The very existence of problems,  says Maharshi, proves our spiritual ignorance.   It is quite true,  for the very putting of a problem means an attempt to bring down Reality to the mental level,  and this is equal to the effort of attempting to draw water with a sieve.   Even an ordinary vessel cannot hold a subtle ethereal substance …   

“The understanding of all this comes only then we have been able to transcend the limitations of the mind-brain.”

Mouni Sadhu  In Days of Great Peace


Priestess of black Isis

Priestess of black Isis





Aquariel – an angel of the waters and of the air through the woods of life.

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