May Day, May Tree, May Pole: “Jonkheid” / “Youthfulness” for Eternity

May Pole in Eifel Germany

May Day (May 1) is a holiday rich in history and folklore, celebrating the return of spring! Learn about some of the fun traditions, from May Day baskets to dancing around the maypole.

Origins of May Day

Did you know that May Day has its roots in astronomy? Traditionally, it was the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice! In ancient times, this was one of the Celtic cross-quarter days, which mark the midway points between the (four) solstices and equinoxes of the year.

As with many early holidays, May Day was rooted in agriculture. Springtime festivities filled with song and dance celebrated the sown fields starting to sprout. Cattle were driven to pasture, special bonfires were lit, and doors of houses as well as livestock were decorated with yellow May flowers. In the Middle Ages, the Gaelic people celebrated the festival of Beltane. Beltane means “Day of Fire.” People created large bonfires and danced at night to celebrate. 

NLD-20010430-TEXEL: Over het gehele eiland Texel branden op de laatste avond voor de maand mei tal van hoog oplaaiende vuren, Meierblis genoemd. Jongeren poffen hun aardappelen en velen stoken er kleine vuurtjes omheen. Het is een gebruik dat lijkt op de Twentse paasvuren en is bedoeld als blijdschap voor de terugkerende lente.

May Day has a long history and tradition in England, some of which eventually came to America. Children would dance around the Maypole holding onto colorful ribbons. People would “bring in the May” by gathering wildflowers and green branches, weaving of floral hoops and hair garlands, and crowning a May king and queen. 

The Maypole Dance

Did you ever dance around the Maypole as a child? Wrapping a Maypole with colorful ribbons is a joyous tradition that still exists in some schools and communities.

  • Originally, the Maypole was a living tree chosen from the woods with much merrymaking. Ancient Celts danced around the tree, praying for the fertility of their crops and all living things! For younger people, there was the possibility of courtship. If a young woman and man paired by sundown, their courtship continued so that the couple could get to know each other and, possibly, marry 6 weeks later on June’s Midsummer’s Day. This is how the “June wedding” became a tradition.
  • In the Middle Ages, all villages had Maypoles. Towns would compete to see who had the tallest or best Maypole. Over time, this Old English festival incorporated dance performances, plays, and literature. People would crown a “May Queen” for the day’s festivities. 

The strict Puritans of New England considered the celebrations of May Day to be licentious and pagan, so they forbade its observance, and the springtime holiday never became an important part of American culture as it was in many European countries.

Interestingly, from the late 19th century through the 1950s, the Maypole dance and festivities became a rite of spring at some U.S. colleges. Seen as a wholesome tradition, this celebration often included class plays, Scottish dancing, Morris dancing, a cappella concerts, and cultural dancing and music displays.

In the 1960s and 1970s, interest waned; the May Queen and her court became more of a popularity contest. Today, the Maypole dance is mainly celebrated in schools (from elementary though college) as a fun spring activity.

The Maypole Festival: Courting and Declarations of Love

In Germany it is still celebrated: the Maypole festival. The tree is planted in the village square or the market at the end of April or on May 1. In Limburg and the Achterhoek, a maypole is still placed at the highest point of new houses. In this case too, the maypole symbolizes prosperity and fertility.

Read more about the old traditions and courtship during the Dutch Maypole festivities here:

The Maypole festival occurred in Western Europe, but the festival was also known among the Germanic and West Slavic peoples. The festival heralds the beginning of summer with the accompanying growth and blossoming of nature. The maypole symbolizes fertility. The tradition got a Christian touch during the Middle Ages, according to the church the maypole symbolized Mary, but the original Germanic version survived. That is why there was mainly partying and drinking during the Maypole festival. In the Netherlands, the tradition lasted until the 19th century.

The May Guild and the May Count

The May Guild organized the party, this guild was led by the May Count. He could be recognized by his green crown. The day was dominated by may fires, may songs, parades (‘Meynachten’) and waldhorns made from the bark of a willow or alder. Horns (but also whistles) were blown to chase away the witches and evil spirits.

The green crown

The maypole was colorfully decorated with ribbons, wreaths, crowns, green branches and flowers. It was tradition for the mayor to sit at the maypole, whereupon the girls of the town or village stood in a circle around the tree and sang a maysong. The Maygrave then decided who was his May Countess (also known as May Queen) by throwing his green crown at a girl.

Courtship and Rejection in the 18th and 19th Centuries

In addition to the symbol of prosperity and fertility, the maypole was also seen as a symbol of love. Boys therefore planted maypoles ( maybranch) in front of the houses of the girls they liked. The way the tree was decorated expressed exactly how the boy felt about the girl. This could sometimes be disappointing: if the tree was decorated with thorny flowers, this meant that he thought the girl was haughty. Read Here Jonkheid, venstersvrijen, spinnen ( Importance of social cohesionn for community) – in Dutch

Riotous girls

An elder in the maypole meant that the girl was seen as licentious. The cherry branch meant that the girl in question wasn’t particularly picky. A straw doll meant that the girl had fooled a previous love and there were many more symbols. However, the premise of the maypole planting was to declare love.

Well in front of my sweetheart door

I plant, as a lover’s pawn,

The Maypole, sweet with fragrance,

And offer her heart and hand;

And tell her, “Sweet! come happy

Now standing in front of your window;

The sweet May tide,

Oh! done so quickly.”

The Dragon that swallowed St George

THE DRAGON THAT SWALLOWED ST. GEORGE

By Whitall N. Perry

Whosoever implores my aid shall receive it’.—St. George

The purpose of this paper will be to examine the pattern of the eternal return (anakuklêsis) in relation to a particular archetypal entity—in the present case, St. George; and then to see, both how it happens that, and what the consequences are when, “myth” declines into desuetude.

….. Christianity’s conflict with the various paganisms it encountered can thus in part at least be explained as a rivalry between the classic spatial or periodic perspective and the newly revealed temporal or historical one, which—independently of other considerations—being more “timely” was precisely bound to prevail. Yet the bane of historicity is secularization, and man being what he is, it suffices but a subtle shift in focus for “the measureless and perilous world of forms and of change,” hitherto regarded as something negative to be rejected, now to be seen as something positive to be espoused. The outer world becomes reality, matter assumes an increased importance, and man experiences a Renaissance marked by humanism with its concept of indefinite progress and human or worldly perfectibility. This entails in consequence a loss of contact with higher states of being, mythology is relegated to a realm equatable with the incredible, while sacred history itself in turn becomes “myth.”
Islam, the last of the historical religions, actually seizes hold of time itself as a sword with which to destroy all time: the Shahâdah or Witness “Lâ ilâha illa ‘Llâh—There is no divinity if not the Divinity” destroys through a transformation that refers and ultimately renders everything back to its Origin; the Event or Final Day or Judgment is not only ceaselessly proclaimed as immanent, Islam itself is in a way already that Event or Judgment. The past and the future are more geometric than temporal; Allah “is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward”; there is purely the desertic fatality of the omnipresent Now, and this Now belongs to God

For the Muslim believer, the world is thus in part illusion and in part theophany, but at all events never more than a veil (hijâb) covering Reality.

It goes without saying that the Christian believer (wherever he still exists) is likewise no secularist: he is the first to “let the dead bury
their dead” and is more predisposed than not to turn his back on the world itself as the personification of evil. He is a man who only endures history while awaiting the glory of the Kingdom to come. Read more here

This paper is part of the book Ye Shall Know the Truth – Christianity and the Perennial Philosophy

More than four others – Frisian Folkstale

 At that time there lived in the Grinzer Pein (Friesland) a young man who was called out  that he was not afraid of anything. When a ferry had to be dug, he got a job there. He joined the team with twenty westerners. Those twenty westerners were as lazy as duckweed. They wanted him to do the work, so he got into trouble with them. Then they said, “If you don’t work, we’ll cut you in pieces.” But the young man laughed and said, “You should try that first.” And then those twenty westerners came up to him with open knives , but he knocked them down one by one, for he was not afraid. And that same evening, near the new ferry, one of the Westerners was found cut into strips. But that joung man had not done that, his own comrades wanted to get rid of that westerner. And because the young servant  had fought with him, they thought, he will be blamed.

That turned out to be the case, because the nineteen westerners testified that he must have been the murderer of their comrade. He went to court, and because he would not confess, he was put on the rack, but he maintained his innocence, for he was not afraid of anything, not even the pain. Desesperate, they called a wizard, a real wizard. He had to scare him so he confessed. The wizard had him tied on a chair; then he was powerless. But they had tortured him so much that he could hardly speak.

And then he was given a cup of warm milk to drink. The magician looked straight at him and said, ‘Look at the ground in front of you!’ And then the young man noticed that his ten toes had turned into ten snakes. They grew out of his toes, they grew bigger and bigger and came closer and closer to his head. But he made those snakes drink one by one from the hot milk from the cup he had in his hands. The snakes writhed together again and fell asleep at his feet.

The wizard asked, “Aren’t you scared yet?” But he replied, “You haven’t got any of those beasts yet, because my cup isn’t empty yet.” Then the wizard turned the boy’s hair into flames and said that he would be consumed by these flames. But the young man asked: ‘Do you have tobacco in your pocket? I don’t have any tobacco with me, but my pipe does. Stop it in front of me for a moment, so I can at least light it on the flames and don’t have to use a match’.

And the third was that the sorcerer sat before him and said: If you will not confess, you will be sent to hell. ‘But the young servant laughed, for he was not afraid. The wizard looked straight at him and then the young man noticed that his body was turning into a skeleton. The magician said:

“Aren’t you scared yet? Remember – this is how you go to hell and stay there!” “Oh,” he said, “why should I be afraid? Such an old charnel house as I am now – there is no one in hell who knows me.” And he did not bow the neck.

However, he was sentenced to death. The executioner appeared and he was to be cut into four. He was already on the block to be chopped in four, then they asked him if he wasn’t scared yet. “No,” he said, “why should I be afraid? Our father always said I was worth more than four others. And if you cut me in four here, you’ll be dealing with not one, but four men in a minute.’ And he was not quartered, but they took him back to the cell.

That same night the devil came to him and left nothing to frighten him. He told him the most horrible stories and transformed himself into the most horrible forms. The devil became an old woman, with teeth as large and as sharp as razors, and threatened to bite his throat. The devil became a dragon with seven heads that spewed fire at him. He became a very large snake, with a mouth so wide that it could eat it in one sitting. But the young servant was not afraid. Only when the devil finally asked him if he felt any fear at all did he say, “No, I don’t, but you do!

And he began to tease him so furiously, he made such hideous noises, and he drew such crooked faces, that even the devil became frightened and threw himself to the ground and blew the retreat.

The judges came to the conclusion that a person that even the devil fears can never be a murderer. And he was acquitted…

Chasing the Dragon

– Thoughts on St George’s Day

By Paul Kingsnorth

Back in the day, I was rooting for the dragon. It was a thing that some of us did back in the prehistoric nineties. Among the young, crusty eco-activists of yore, the myth of St George, patron saint of England, was another old story that needed to be turned on its head. As we battled to stop yet another square mile of English soil being concreted over for a motorway extension, superstore, housing estate, airport runway or whatever other embodiment of Progress was ‘necessary’ this week, we would hold up the dragon, not the saint, as our guiding light. This armoured human dealing out death to this innocent, wild creature: wasn’t it so appropriate that he would be the patron saint of this most modern and destructive of nations? The dragon, on the other hand was the icon of wildness, of untamed nature resisting the onslaught. Why couldn’t he be our saint instead?

As it happens, the dragon was once the symbol of England, back when St George was nowhere to be found. On Senlac Hill in 1066, Harold Godwinson, the last English king, was said to have fought William the Bastard’s Norman invaders under two banners: the dragon of Wessex, and the ‘fighting man’. The latter is still a mystery, and an intriguing one (I’ve often idly wondered if it looked anything like this.) But the dragon – or wyrm, to use the Old English – still flies on the official flag of Wessex today.

The king was defeated that day, of course – a story I wrote once – and the England which once flew the banner of the dragon now flies the banner of its slayer. But it always seemed to me, even when I was writing books about the state of England, that the English don’t care much for their patron saint. Perhaps we don’t care for any saints, and maybe that’s what haunts us. We wrecked most of their shrines during the Reformation, after all, and what did our national church replace them with? Ah yes: Helter Skelters.

But St George, in recent decades at least, has never attracted much popular loyalty. His national day only recently became a Bank Holiday (holidays used to be named after saints or heroes: now they’re named for global finance houses), and St George’s Day events in England have always been a bit lacklustre. Mostly a man in a dodgy dragon costume will get knocked about a bit by a crusader with a Pound Shop plastic sword, before everyone goes to the pub. In the background, a chorus of Guardian journalists can be heard piously chanting that ‘St George was Turkish anyway’, thus proving that England never really existed, or something. The new ritual year in our culture of inversion requires that England’s patron saint must be routinely denigrated on this day by the country’s chattering classes, all of whom remain Normans at heart.

But I’ve always found this line of attack on our patron saint a curiously self-defeating one. After all, if you’re championing a lovely new multicultural Britain, rather than a parochial, past-it old England, then St George is a highly appropriate saint. Originally from the Middle East (not Turkey, which didn’t exist at the time), he became England’s patron after Richard the Lionheart – once a symbol of English martial valour but actually a French king who barely came near the place – had a vision of George during the crusades, and was led by him to victory.

George himself was a Roman soldier martyred by Emperor Diocletian for his Christian faith, and he is one of the most popular saints in the world. He even has a country named after him. I remember, many years ago, walking down the street in the Italian port city of Genoa and wondering why I kept seeing English flags everywhere. I found out later that St George was the city’s patron, which made me feel stupid. And George is not only significant for Christians. Being much more popular in the middle east than he is in England, many Muslims also consider him an important figure; some of them even seem to think he was a proto-Jihadi.

All of this symbolises not the sinister, Brexity English patriotism which causes New Statesman types to shake as they sip their almond-milk Americanos, but the very international nature of Christianity, which is, after all, the world’s most globalised and multicultural religion. George seems an appropriate saint for an age like this: even more appropriate, perhaps, than he did back in the middle ages.

Yet he remains unloved in England, and perhaps for the same reason: because he belongs to so many in general, he belongs to nobody in particular. There is nothing actually English about him, and so he doesn’t speak to the country or its history. Call me old-fashioned (I’d take it as a compliment), but I believe that a nation’s patron saint should come from the nation: England, after all, is a land which has generated many great saints of its own. Before the middle ages, the country had several native holy men as its patrons, one of whom, St Edmund the Martyr, has always been a favourite of mine. I’ll write more about him when his own day comes around, but I regard him as the true, unofficial patron saint of England, just as I regard Jerusalem as its true, unofficial anthem. If I had my way, Edmund would replace George as the patron saint of my homeland tomorrow, and we’d get his shrine rebuilt in his hometown as a matter of national priority. Who knows what might start to happen then?

But this kind of wistfulness, like most other kinds, is unproductively redundant these days. Maybe the days of patron saints are gone, at least in the West. Maybe the days of nations are gone too: certainly a lot of people would like that to be true. The vortex of globalisation, of modernity itself, is widening and deepening daily, and into it all distinctions and differences are sucked, to emerge bleached, efficient and unloved on the far shore. Can countries as we have known them survive this? Can there be such a thing as a ‘national identity’ in the age of smartphones, shipping containers, mass media and mass migration, and do many people even care? Is England real, or did the Machine eat it long ago? Is it, like George and Edmund and all of their kind, only something we can access now through icon and memory?

I don’t know. What I do know is that nostalgia won’t get you far these days, if it ever did. When I look forward I can’t see anything much that is fixed or holy or pegged down. All I can see, somehow, is that dragon. I think that we are entering a dragon time. I don’t know what that means: those words just appeared this moment, unplanned. I’m going to leave them here, and see what they become.

There have always been dragons: across cultures, across time. They haunt the human mind, they invade our stories, and what they tell us can be as distinct as the English legend of the Lambton Wyrm or the Chinese tale of the Four Dragons. Sometimes they defend the kingdom, sometimes they ravage it. Sometimes they eat maidens, sometimes they eat their own tails. I would like to offer some deep, Jungian wisdom about the meaning of slaying our internal dragons, but I can’t pretend to have slain mine, and who am I to give advice? I just have a feeling, today, that the dragon might have more to say to us than the saint.

If this is a dragon time, what is our age’s serpent saying? What has it come for? Perhaps our dragon is the beast rising from the sea. Perhaps it is the return of the wild nature we have crushed outside and inside of us for so long: what D. H. Lawrence called the ‘inward revolt of the native creatures of the soul.’ Is it the consuming passion of the Machine, which will end up consuming us all? Is it some rescuer from beyond our small understanding? Does it come to destroy us or to redeem us – or are they both the same thing?

Today is St George’s Day, but it is also the culmination of Lent in the Orthodox Church. Tonight is Pascha – Easter. Later, we will gather in a darkened church just before midnight. When the hour strikes, a single light – a candle – will emerge from behind the iconostasis, and all of us, each holding an unlit candle, will light our own wick from its flame. Light will flood the darkness. Everything will look different. Everything will be changed. It will happen quickly, though we have been waiting so long.

This is how it works, it seems, always and everywhere. This is the cycle. Destruction leads to resurrection, for nations, people, ages, families, hearts. Dragons are needed as much as saints. Don’t ask me to explain any of it. Perhaps just light a candle tonight, and see what is revealed.


– Read also :St George: The Art of Dragon Taming

  • St George: more like a “radical Islamist” than an English nationalist!

Featured By Z A Rahman

“….and you will certainly find the nearest in friendship to those who believe (to be) those who say: We are Christians; this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly” [1]

In the UK today is St George’s Day. England’s flag is also named after St George bearing what is referred to as the “St George’s Cross”. But who exactly is St George?

Who is St George?

Not much accurate information is known about George. Historians believe he was born in Cappadocia, a part of modern Turkey, into a noble Christian family in the third century around 270AD, some 300 years before the advent of the final Prophet, Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).[2]

Bovenkant formulier

His father was of Turkish descent whilst his mother was a Palestinian from the city of Lud. Lud of course is the city where we know that ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) (Jesus) will kill the Dajjāl (anti-Christ) as the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“….Then, the son of Mary will go in pursuit of the Dajjāl, and will overtake him at the gate of Lud , and will kill him.” [3]

George is said to have joined the Roman army, following in his father’s footsteps. When his father died, he and his mother returned to Palestine, and he became an officer in the retinue of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor at the time. It is unclear whether George would have openly declared his faith at this time, however, what we know is that Emperor Diocletian embarked on a systematic terror against all Christian believers.

Before we continue with this story further, let us pause for a moment and consider what the Christians were like at the time of George.

Christianity Pre-Council of Nicea: The Islām of that time?

In order to understand what Christianity was like at that time, it would assist to understanding how we understand Christian beliefs and practices to be today. It must be remembered of course that George lived before the Council of Nicea, which took place in or around 325AD (George is reported to have died in 303AD). This is important because we know that it was at this Council that many aspects of how we come to understand Christianity today came from that period.

We know that Constantine was the Emperor at the time. In Constantine’s day, Rome’s official religion was pagan sun-worship — the cult of Sol Invictus, or the Invincible Sun—and Constantine was its head priest. Unfortunately for him, a growing religious turmoil was gripping Rome. Three centuries after ʿĪsā’s (ʿalayhi al-Salām) messengership, his followers had multiplied exponentially. Among the ‘Christians’ of that time were followers who were very similar to the original disciples of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) i.e. Muslims (worshipping God alone and following the teachings of ʿĪsā as a prophet); alongside a variety of other types of Hellenised Christians with innovated ideas and beliefs about ʿĪsā, including those who began to worship him instead of or in addition to God. The various Christians and pagans began warring, and the conflict grew to such proportions that it threatened to render Rome in two. Constantine decided something had to be done. He decided to unify Rome under a single religion, a Roman Christianity.

Perhaps one of the most important matters to be settled at the Council was the status of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) who was viewed by many of his early followers as a mortal Prophet. Around this period, the Christian world had many different competing Christological formulae and among them was Nontrinitarianism which rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, namely, the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are co-eternal, co-equal, and indivisibly united in one being and believed in the oneness of God.[4]

Constantine of course favoured the view that existed of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) being the Son of God and tied this in with his beliefs. Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun-worshipping pagans to Christianity. By fusing pagan symbols, dates, and rituals into the growing Christian tradition, he created a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties. The vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. Constantine’s favoured pagan deity was Sol, the sun god, which he and many other pagan converts identified with ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām). Thus, he officially fused Christian celebrations, and pagan celebrations of the sun. The pagan god Mithras—called the ‘Son of God’ – was born on December 25, died, was buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. By the way, December 25 is also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. Even Christianity’s weekly holy day was borrowed from the pagans. Christianity honoured the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun.

Constantine also commissioned and compiled the Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of ʿĪsā’s (ʿalayhi al-Salām) human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike. The other gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned. Anyone who chose the forbidden gospels over Constantine’s version was deemed a heretic. The word heretic derives from that moment in history. The Latin word ‘haereticus’ means ‘choice.’ Those who ‘chose’ the original history of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) were the world’s first heretics.[5]

What we know therefore is that the Christian community that was in existence at the time of George was virtually unrecognisable from the Christian community that followed later until this present day.

George and the Companions of the Cave 

The story of the Asḥabul Kahf, ‘Companion of the Cave’ is told in Sūrah (Chapter) 18 of the Qur’ān which takes its name from their story, ‘The Cave’. In it, Allāh tells us about a story where we learn that the believers at that time were a persecuted people and, as a result, a group of youth left their town with their dog and hid and sheltered themselves in a cave in a mountain fleeing from the persecution; much like how the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and Abū Bakr (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) sought refuge in the Cave of Thawr fleeing from the persecution of the Quraish. The youth said:

“Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any ilāh (god) other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief. These our people have taken for worship āliha (gods) other than Him (Allāh). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allāh”.[6]

They withdrew to the cave, fell asleep and remained asleep for some generations or centuries. When they awoke from their long sleep, they still thought of the world in which they had previously lived when they had slept. They had no idea of the duration of time. But when one of them went to the town to purchase provisions, he found that the whole world had changed. The religion was no longer persecuted, His dress and speech, and the money which he brought, seemed to belong to another world. This attracted attention and thus, their story and miracle was made known to all by Allāh.

It is well known in Islām that the youth were followers of ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām), who were Muslims (i.e. those who submitted their will to Allāh). In fact, the Sūrah starts with a message to the Christians in the opening verses wherein we find:

“And warn those who say Allāh has taken a son, they have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers, a grievous word it is that comes out of their mouths, they speak nothing but a lie” [7]

Now there is a similar story in Christianity about the sleepers of Ephesus where it is taught that a number of youths went into hiding during the tyrant rule of none other than Diocletian. We can read this account in Edward Gibbon’s monumental “The rise and fall of the Roman Empire” and in other western works. If this is correct, then it places St George and the Companions of the Cave in the same period and given that this was known as the Great Persecution, it adds credence to the possibility that the Companions of the Cave were fleeing from the same persecution, and Allāh knows best.

It is well known that Emperor Diocletian issued a decree requiring public sacrifice which meant that Christians were compelled to sacrifice to Roman gods or face imprisonment and execution. Diocletian’s campaign has come to be known as the “Great Persecution”, which has been noted as the most severe persecution of Christians in Roman history.  And whilst some, such as perhaps the Companions of the Cave escaped, others such as George did not.[8]

When the persecution of the monotheistic Christians began, George openly declared that he was a Christian and that he would not persecute his co-religionists.[9] Despite being cruelly tortured at the order of the emperor, George refused to denounce his faith in the oneness of God and venerate the Roman idols. His actions saw him dragged through the streets of Palestine and beheaded in 303 AD.[10]

So he was a religious fundamentalist immigrant who refused to accept his country’s ‘values’, that racists love?

Not only was St George a Turkish-Arab, but likely a believer in tawḥīd, of the One true God and who refused to associate partners with Him like the Companions of the Cave who were Muslims.

St George shunned and refused to believe in paganism and idolatry, which is unfortunately, associated much with modern day Christianity and it is for this reason that, if St George was alive today, he would most likely find idolising ʿĪsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) a strange practice indeed, and would, conversely, find familiarity with the teachings of Islām.

Being of Turkish and Palestinian Arab descent, he would have been the perfect captain for the Gaza Flotilla, the Mavi Marmara (the Turkish ship which sought to break the siege of Gaza in 2010) and he would no doubt champion the cause of his fellow natives against their tyrannical and oppressive rulers, the Zionist entity of Israel.

There is a particularly delightful irony of far right groups in the UK venerating him as a saint. Sometimes the extent of racists’ stupidity is nothing short of hilarious to onlookers. They erroneously claim to be the true heirs of St George, but it is clear that if St George was alive today, they would reject him, call him a foreigner, and tell him to go back to his own country. In fact, if they saw him drowning in the Mediterranean Sea like 800+ poor souls recently, then they would have probably also called him a ‘cockroach’ and refused to rescue him.[11]


Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān, 5:82

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/st-georges-day-2015-as-google-doodle-marks-englands -patron-saint-here-are-some-facts-that-may-surprise-you-10196496.html

[3] Muslim

[4] Ehrman, Bart. The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew.

[5] G. Barna and F. Viola (2008), Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, BarnaBook;

[6] Al-Qur’ān, 18:14-15

[7] Al-Qur’ān, 18:4-5

[8] W. H. C. Frend (1984). The Rise of Christianity. Fortress Press, Philadelphia

[9] Gibbs, Margaret (1971), Saints beyond the White Cliffs, Ayer Press

[10] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/apr/23/hewasbornin

[11] http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/apr/20/katie-hopkins-sun-migrants-article-petition-nears-180000-mark

Z A Rahman

Z.A Rahman is a community activist and a member of a large Mosque in the UK. He has a keen interest in politics and history, particularly Islamic history. He also enjoys traveling and has visited numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Passion of St George – 23 April

Proclaiming St George’Day ( 23rd of April): A Day of “uprightness”, and a day of remembering, sharing and of coming together, organizing “Convivium” or Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”
Asking St George his Intercession, protection and patronage for the project:

The saint was then beheaded on April 23, 303. And his feast day is still celebrated all over the world! 1717 years later, in the Year 2020 we asked you to pray .


One year later on 23 April 2021, no celebrations outside due to lokckdown but we can still pray in our Heart and Remember Him

The Prayer to Saint George directly refers to the courage it took for the saint to confess his Belief before opposing authority:

Prayers of Intercession to Saint George:

Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit.

Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.

O God! You are the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, You are the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no deity other thanYou. You are the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear.  We ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, for truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous. ( From the Prayer on  Bara’a Night )

The Passion of St george:

The legend of St George is extant in the medieval manuscripts in a variety of forms, as with most major saints’ “lives”. This is a translation into English of the oldest form of the St George legend, most likely 5th century in date, and condemned as foolish and heretical by the church in the 6 th century Decretum Gelasianum. In his study of the various forms of the text, Matzke chose to give this original form the slightly confusing label of “the apocryphal text”. A later revised form, purged of the worst excesses of the original, he called “the canonical text”.
The Greek text of this original form is mostly lost, but a palimpsest in Vienna contains some 5th
century leaves.

April 23 – The passion of the Martyr George

  1. The emperor Datianus orders everyone to sacrifice to the gods on pain of torture
    At this time the devil took hold of Datianus, king of the Persians and king over the four corners
    of the world, which are above all the kings of the earth; and he sent out an edict that all the kings should gather together. And when the kings were assembled, to the number of seventy-two, and seated before his tribunal, with the senators in a circle and innumerable soldiers, the emperor Datianus ordered that every kind of torture, which he had prepared, should be gathered together in the sight of all the people. Among these were brass boxes , in which were twice-sharpened swords, frying-pans, cooking pots, very sharp saws, bronze bulls, fiery hooks fixed into boots, iron wheels and many other types of torments, without number. And he began to say, “If I find anyone who speaks against the gods and does not sacrifice to them, I shall cut out their tongue, I shall pluck out their eyes, I shall make their ears deaf, I shall split their jaws, I shall pluck out their teeth, I shall tear their brain from their head, cut off their arms, bruise their neck, sever their upper arms and shins , cut the nerves of their feet, rake out their bowels, and whatever is left I will hand over to the worms!” On seeing these torments displayed, many who were thought to believe in God recoiled in fear, and no-one was heard to say that he was a Christian.
  1. An army officer from Cappadocia named George appears, and tells them not to.
    And while innumerable people were assembled, behold the saint of God, George, bright as the
    middle of heaven and earth, a native of Cappadocia, and an officer over many soldiers, a recipient of the gold many times, came to the emperor Datianus; so that he might serve him while the sun was visible. George saw the many kings assembled around the emperor Datianus with his army, blaspheming Christ and worshipping demons. Then all the gold which the servant of God carried with him, he gave it to the poor, he took off the cloak that he was wearing, and threw himself on the ground, and he began to say to himself, “The devil has closed their eyes so that they might not recognize the Lord.” Then he in a loud voice he said, “Throw down your coins, O kings, which are worthless, and do not call on the gods, who are not gods but the work of men. For let the gods, who did not create heaven and earth, be destroyed.”
  2. The emperor questions St George
    On hearing this, the emperor was silent and looking to him, said, “Man, you have not only offended us, but you lessen all the gods. They are gods who give favour to everyone. Therefore, advance and give sacrifice to Apollo who preserves the whole earth and governs the whole world. Now tell me from what city are you? What is your name, or for what reason have you come here?

St. George replied to him, “I am a servant of God. The name which I have from men is George and in Christ I am a Christian, a Cappadocian. I was over a large number of soldiers, and well have I laboured in the service of Christ. I was also in the province of Palestine. Tell me, O emperor, to which of the gods do you advise me to sacrifice?”
The emperor said, “To Apollo, who oversees the sky, or at least to Neptune, whom we say
established the earth.” St. George replied, “I do not worship those of whom you speak, the old serpent. But to the people who are ever awaiting the mercy of God I speak, in the names of saints. I send away many and a few by name, so that I may describe the works of your gods.
Which of these do you make me similar to: Eve, or Jezebel, the murderess of the prophets? or instead Mary, who gave birth to the Lord? Be ashamed, O emperor. Those in whom you believe are not gods, but idols, deaf and blind, the works of the hands of men.

  1. St George is tortured, without effect.
    Then the angry emperor ordered that he should be suspended on the rack and scraped with
    [metal] claws so that his intestines came out and his whole body was wounded; and he endured this punishment in Christ. He then ordered him to be taken down and taken outside the city, and stretched out with four windlasses and the parts of his body which remained to be bloodied with clubs, and salt scattered into his wounds, and his stripes rubbed down with coarse goat-hair cloths. And then he ordered iron military boots to be brought, and once they were put on, his [bare] foot began to press on the spikes and the blood flowed from his feet like water from a spring. Read more here

Look also St George and Al kidhr

Saint George’s Day – 23 April 2022

Celebrating all over the World see here

Saint George: Great Martyr and Triumphant

Saint George (Greek: Γεώργιος, Geṓrgios; Latin: Georgius; d. 23 April 303 was a Roman soldier of Greek origin and a member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian, who was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalo-martyrs in Christianity, and was especially venerated by the Crusaders. Orthodhttps://maypoleofwisdom.com/saint-georges-day/ox Christians commemorate his feast day on April 23rd.

Saint George’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint George, is the feast day of Saint George as celebrated by various Christian Churches and by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint including England, and regions of Portugal and Spain (Catalonia and Aragon).

Saint George’s Day is normally celebrated on 23 April. However, Church of England rules denote that no saints’ day should be celebrated between Palm Sunday and the Sunday after Easter Day so if 23 April falls in that period the celebrations are transferred to after it. 23 April is the traditionally accepted date of the saint’s death in the Diocletianic Persecution of AD 303.[1]
The fame of St. George increased throughout Europe in 1265 by publication of the Legenda Aurea (The Golden Legend) by James of Voragine, a collection of stories which included that of George and the Dragon. Actual origin of the legend of George and the Dragon is unknown. It may have been begun by the Crusaders when they returned home but was not recorded until the sixth century. St. George was a prominent figure in the secular miracle plays performed in the springs of medieval times. Some hold the story to be a christianized version of the Greek legend of Perseus said to have rescued a princess near the Lydda where St. George’s tomb is located.
A poll published last week by the IPPR, a Left-leaning think tank, suggests that seven out of 10 people living in England want Saint George’s Day to be a public holiday. Well, on Ethiopia’s Saint George’s Day they surely have a public holiday, as it falls on the same day as Labor Day.

more here

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Maypole: The Principle of Verticality

Looking to the Spiritual vertical way, as the Maypole do, gives us an opportunity of discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues,  developing Spiritual values needed in our times.

The Choice  – Y :

The Corona virus is taking a toll on all of us, especially those least able to retreat into their homes until the worst is over.

But, beyond the health and humanitarian measures urgently needed for those affected, it also offers a chance to right historical wrongs – the abuse of our earthly home and of marginalised societies, the very people who will suffer most from this pandemic. This viral outbreak is a sign that by going too far in exploiting the rest of nature, the dominant globalising culture has undone the planet’s capacity to sustain life and livelihoods. The unleashing of micro-organisms from their animal hosts means that they must latch on to other bodies for their own survival. Humans are a part of nature – and everything is connected to everything else.

The spiritual potential of quarantine

Being alone in quarantine, devoid of friends, family, co-workers and community, a person is truly lonely. Talking on the phone, messaging and even video chatting is no substitute for being in the physical presence of others. There is no replacement for the hug, kiss or even the handshake. Just having others around gives a person a sense of security and comfort. Quarantine forces a painful loneliness.

Yet the loneliness of companionship can also create an opportunity. The loneliness of others creates the solitude of the person with God. All alone, a person is able to commune with God as never before. God is eternally listening to our voices, and God awaits our prayers.

The silence of prayer/meditation provides a person the opportunity to connect to God on the deepest of levels. Without the pressures of work, a schedule or family chores, a person can turn to God, pour their heart out and deepen their relationship with the Creator. The gaping hole of spirituality left by the absence of ritual can be filled with a more unique connection to God.

Quarantine is a challenge previously unthought of by our Sages. It is lonely and depressing. Those feelings are natural and valid. All of us in quarantine are feeling them. But taken in the right way, it can provide time and opportunity to connect with God, rethink values and recommit to the priorities that are important to us.

The bivium of Pythagoras, this sign which leaves us free to choose the path of good or the path of evil.

“The letter” Y “represents the symbol of moral life. The question of good and evil arises before the free will of man: two roads open before him: the left, the thick branch of the “Y”, is wide and easy to access, but leads to the chasm from shame, that of the right, the thin branch, is a steep and painful path, but at the summit of which one finds repose in honor and glory. “

We need to be sincere with our selves , to be “upright” strictly honourable and  honest, as the symbol of the Maypole is.it is the Axis Mundi,  also called the cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, center of the world, or world tree — was greatly extended to refer to any mythological concept representing “the connection between Heaven and Earth” or the “higher and lower realms.

Together we can initiate and erect a maypole as various European folk festivals do, in respect of the safely coming of Spring. But as many Folklores in Europe did, to keep it more permantly,  we can plant a Lime Tree in the center of the village of on squares in the city, to keep the remenbering of  “uprightness”,of sincerity in our mind, in our heart and in our allday lives. In this way,as  in many folklores of Europe, they recognize their dependance to Nature and their submission to something Higher than themselves. And happy they danced under the Lime Tree on important opportunities.  Man has always be in need of a symbol, but certainly a symbol for communality and fraternity: The Path to the Maypole of Wisdom – Forum for Ethics, Virtues and Uprightness.

Master of the Assumption of the Magdalene, Assumption of Mary Magdalene, ca. 1506-1507

The Choice for Spiritual Ethics,Virtues and Uprightness in our times

The bivium of Pythagoras, this sign which leaves us free to choose the path of good or the path of evil.

“The letter” Y “represents the symbol of moral life. The question of good and evil arises before the free will of man: two roads open before him: the left, the thick branch of the “Y”, is wide and easy to access, but leads to the chasm from shame, that of the right, the thin branch, is a steep and painful path, but at the summit of which one finds repose in honor and glory. “

  • In his book Man and Nature: The Spiritual Crisis in Modern Man

Seyyed Hossein Nasr  explores the relationship between the human being and nature as found in many religious traditions, particularly its Sufi dimension. The author stresses the importance of a greater awareness of the origins of both the human being and nature as a means of righting the imbalance that exists in our deepest selves and in our environment. Read more

The letter “Y”, in antiquity, has often represented a “bivium” (a fork in the road); a point in life where we have to make a vital decision. According to Pythagoras, it represents the paths of virtue and vice.

The letter Y is also symbolic of looking within, Inner contemplation, Meditation and inner wisdom.

  • The Garden of Forking Paths

Our earliest source for the poem is an eleventh-century manuscript, although the version I quote is taken from a modern edition of the Anthologia Latina:

A prose translation of a prosaic verse: The Pythagorean letter, divided into two horns, seems to present an image of human life. For the steep way of virtue, to the right, offers the viewer a difficult approach up a mountainside, but at the top it provides the weary with rest. The left way shows a pleasant journey, but at the end it hurls down the trapped traveller among rough rocks. For whoever has conquered hardship from his love of virtue will be rewarded with praise and honour. But he who follows a life of idle decadence, thoughtlessly skiving, will spend eternity [or, ‘a lifetime’] poor, ugly and miserable.

This piece is about that very littera Pythagorae, the ‘Pythagorean letter’.

Classical ethics has as its foundation the concept of free will, liber arbitrium; the quintessence of free will is an individual’s choice between right and wrong. One of the key tasks of a moral teacher was to persuade his student that virtue, though difficult, was in the student’s best interest in the long term. One finds this in Plato, for instance, all the time. Thus the path of virtue was portrayed as harsh or steep, and the primrose path of vice as easy and gentle.The dualism of this choice, between vice and virtue, was traditionally symbolised by the left and right hands. The right hand, with which one fought and wrote, has always been positive in connotation; its counterpart the left, weak hand. If one surveys the words for ‘left’ and ‘right’ in European languages, one finds that the latter are groups of cognates—dexios, dexter, destra and diritto, dereche, direita, droit, rechte, right, deis—and the former mostly unrelated—laios, sinister, lasciato, izquierdo, linke, gauche, left, clé. This is because words for ‘left’, with their negative connotations, have undergone taboo-substitution from foreign sources; izquierdo, for instance, is Basque. To call someone gauche or sinister is to insult him—whereas to call him adroit or dextrous is high praise. It is no coincidence that right should have its two primary meanings, nor that left should come from a root meaning ‘lame’. The moral dualism of the hands is not left linguistically implicit among the Greeks, but explicitly formulated; a passage in Aristotle (Metaphysics, I.5.985) describes a Pythagorean table of opposites

A different party in this same school says that the first principles are ten, named according to the following table:

finite and infinite,
even and odd,
one and many,
right and left,
male and female,
rest and motion,
straight and crooked,
light and darkness,
good and bad,
square and oblong.

Read More here: The Choice for Spiritual Ethics,Virtues and Uprightness in our times

The City of Life, Visions of Paradise

Migration to the Spiritual Land of Peace

Part I: Introduction

  • The Coronation

For years, normality has been stretched nearly to its breaking point, a rope pulled tighter and tighter, waiting for a nip of the black swan’s beak to snap it in two. Now that the rope has snapped, do we tie its ends back together, or shall we undo its dangling braids still further, to see what we might weave from them?…

Covid-19 is like a rehab intervention that breaks the addictive hold of normality. To interrupt a habit is to make it visible; it is to turn it from a compulsion to a choice. The phenomenon follows the template of initiation: separation from normality, followed by a dilemma, breakdown, or ordeal, followed (if it is to be complete) by reintegration and celebration. Now the question arises: Initiation into what? What is the specific nature and purpose of this initiation? The popular name for the pandemic offers a clue: coronavirus. A corona is a crown. “Novel coronavirus pandemic” means “a new coronation for all.”

Already we can feel the power of who we might become. A true sovereign does not run in fear from life or from death. A true sovereign does not dominate and conquer (that is a shadow archetype, the Tyrant). The true sovereign serves the people, serves life, and respects the sovereignty of all people. The coronation marks the emergence of the unconscious into consciousness, the crystallization of chaos into order, the transcendence of compulsion into choice. We become the rulers of that which had ruled us. The New World Order that the conspiracy theorists fear is a shadow of the glorious possibility available to sovereign beings. No longer the vassals of fear, we can bring order to the kingdom and build an intentional society on the love already shining through the cracks of the world of separation. Read more: The Coronation with Charles Eisenstein

  • Modern man is ignorant about his own ignorance

see also:“I can’t Breathe” is the expression of the Crisis of the modern world.

Text of TERRA PACIS and commentary relating to ideas of the Perennial Philosophy and to paintings by Peter Bruegel and Joachim Patinir .

N.B. The writer has kept the 17th century spelling.

  • The Spiritual Land of Peace of the “Holy Refugees”

It also considers the tradition of religious mysticism in Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders throughout the late Middle Ages that led up to the Reformation and points out that this movement is also an expression of the Perennial Philosophy, citing the works of Meister Eckhart, the Rhineland mystics and the schools that came out of the Devotio Moderna.

The work considers the esoteric, ‘heretical’ school called the Family of Love that claimed among its adherents a number of highly illustrious artists, thinkers and politicians. Such men as Christoffe Plantin, Abraham Ortelius and Justus Lipsius spurned the religious turmoil of the period and rejected Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists alike in favour of an inner mystical state they called the ‘invisible church’. They were close to Bruegel, bought his paintings and, it cannot be doubted, shared his thought.

It brings us to immediate and direct influences on Bruegel. These were free thinking humanists and mystics who occupied the no-man‟s-land between Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists; men like Sebastian Franck, Dirck Volckertz Coornhert and Abraham Ortelius were adherents of the „invisible church‟ where God was understood as „an event in the soul‟ which could be independent of external forms, rites and doctrines.  Many of them, such as Ortelius, Christophe Plantin and perhaps Justus Lipsius belonged to the sect known as the Family of Love whose leader, Hendrik Niclaes, was the author of the mystical allegory Terra Pacis that recounts the journey from the „Land of Ignorance‟ to the „Land of Spiritual Peace‟. Bruegel was closely associated with, if not a full member, of this group.

See : PETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER AND ESOTERIC TRADITION

The Spiritual Land of Peace:

  • Look and behold: there is in the world a very unpeaceable Land and it is the wildernessed land wherein the most part of all uncircumcised, impenitent and ignorant people do dwell and in which is, the first of all needful for the man; to the end that he may come to the Land of Peace and the City of Life and Rest.

The same unpeaceable land hath also a City, the name of which they that dwell therein do not know, but only those who are come out of it, and it is named Ignorance.

The people that dwell therein know not their original or first beginning; also they keep not any Genealogy or Pedigree; neither do they know from whence, or how, they came into the same. And moreover then, that they are altogether blinde, and blinde-born.

The forementioned city, named Ignorance, hath two Gates. The one standeth in the North, or Midnight, through the which men go into the city of darkness or ignorance.

This gate now, that standeth to the North, is very large and great, and hath also a great door, because there is much passage through the same; and it hath likewise his name, according to the nature of the same city.

Foreasmuch as that men do come into Ignorance through the same gate, therefore it is named Men Do Not Know How to Do. And the great door, wherethrough the multitude do run is named Unknown Error; and there is else no coming into the City named Ignorance.

The other gate standeth on the one side of the City, towards the East or Spring of the Day, and the same is the Narrow Gate, through the which, men travel out of the city and do enter into the Straight Way which leadeth to Righteousness.

Now when one travelleth out through the same Gate, then doth he immediately espie some Light, and that same reacheth to the Rising of the Sun.

Here the symbolism, taking up the theme of the ‘bread of life’, i.e. spiritual nourishment, employs the images of ‘corn’ and ‘seed’ whose esoteric meaning was discussed earlier and which will be met again in the paintings by Bruegel of the Harvest and the   Ploughman (Fall of Icarus).

The importance of spiritual nourishment – or rather the lack of it – is discussed in the section dealing with the Peasant Wedding Feast (Marriage at Cana) where the lack of wine is shown to correspond, by rhetorical imitation, with famine imagery in the Old Testament where the sense is that of ‘famine for the word of God’. look also :

Landscape with Charon Crossing the Styx

  • In this land of Ignorance, for the food of men, there groweth neither corn nor grass. The people of this land live in confusion or disorder and are very diligent in their unprofitable work and labor. And although their work be vain or unprofitable yet hath everyone notwithstanding a delightful liking to the same.
  • Forasmuch as they all have such a delight to such unprofitable work, so forget they to prepare the Ground for Corn and Seed to live thereby. And so they live not on the manly food but by their own dung, for they have no other food to live by, for their stomach and nature is accustomed and naturally inclined thereto.
  • They make there diverse sorts of Puppet works for Babies for to bring up the children to vanity. There are made likewise many kinds of Balls, Tut-staves, or Kricket-staves, Rackets and Dice; for the foolish people should waste or spend their time therewith in foolishness.
  • There be made also Playing Tables, Draft-boards, Chess-boards, Cards and Mummery or Masks, for to delight the idle people with such foolish vanity. There are made likewise many Rings, Chains, and Gold and Silver Tablets and etc … all unprofitable and unneedful merchandise.
  • They build there likewise divers houses for common assembly, which they call Gods houses; and there use many manner of foolishness of taken on Services which they call religious or godservices whereby to wave or hold forth something in shew before the ignorant people.
  • In this manner are the vain people bewitched with these things, wherethrough they think or perswade themselves that their godservices, and knowledges, which they themselves do make, or take on in their hypocrisie, that must needs be some holy or singular thing, and so honor the works of their own hands.
  • They make there also many Swords, Halberds, Spears, Bows and Arrows, Ordinance or Guns, Pellets, Gunpouder, Armor or Harness, and Gorgets and etc., for that the tyrannical oppressors, and those that have a pleasure in destroying, should use war and battel, therewithal, one against the other.

This could be a description of part of Bruegel’s Adoration of the Kings (1564) or The Triumph of Death There the imagery of swords, halberds and etc., conveys the corrupt state of the world in contrast to the purity of the innocent naked Christ child.

  • The people of this strange land have strange names, according to their nature. As their nature is such are their names written upon them. Whosoever can read the writing let him consider thereon. They are gross letters; whoso hath but a little sight and understanding, he may read them, whose names are there. Highmindedness, Lust of the Eyes, Stoutness, Pride, Covetousness, Lust or Desire to Contrariness, Vanity or Unprofitableness, Unnaturalness, Undecentness, Masterfulness, Mocking, Scorning, Dallying, Adultery or Fornication, Contemning, Lying, Deceiving, Variance, Strife and Contention, Vexing, Self-seeking, Oppression, Indiscreetness, etc.

Identically named people are to be seen populating any of Bruegel’s ‘crowd scenes’, in particular the Numbering at Bethlehem (1566) in Brussels which has already been discussed and the Road to Calvary (1564) in Vienna.

  • Their dealings or manner of life is also variable; for now they take on something, then they leave somewhat else; now they be thus led, then they be so driven; now they praise this, then they dispraise that. So, to be short, they are always inconstant.
  • Their Religions or godservice is called the Pleasure of Men. Their doctrine and ministration is called Good Thinking. Their King is called the Scum of Ignorance.
  • Whosoever findeth himself in this dark land full of ignorance and desireth to go out of it, and forsake the same, and hath a good liking towards the good land of Rest and Peace; he must go through the other gate that lieth towards the East, that is named Fear of God.


“The Rest on the Flight into Egypt” by Joachim Patinir

  • But in travelling forward upon the Way for to come to the good land of Peace, so do the perils first make manifest themselves. Therefore must the Traveller keep a diligent watch in the said grace of the Lord; otherwise he becometh hindered and deceived upon the Way. So we will mark out both the perils of seduction, and also the means unto preservation for that no man should err upon the Way, nor be seduced or deceived by any false ends.

Here the text describes how the traveler has to pass the first three stages of his journey:

1. Fear of God;

2. Beginning of Wisdom;

3. Grace of the Lord in the Confession of Sins. But he is still ‘young’ and needs instruction form the wise Elders of the Family of Love. There are two instructors.

One is described as outwardly having a form that is…

  • not very amiable or pleasant (according to the minds of the flesh) to behold, nor yet his sayings and counsels to be obeyed, because that he is contrary to all minds and knowledge of the flesh (notwithstanding, if the traveller have no regard for him, neither daily receive any counsel of him unto obedience, nor yet follow his counsel, then shall he not come to the Rest). And he is named the Law or Ordinance of the Lord.
  • The other wise one cometh before him out of the thoughts of mans good thinking, to draw him away from the Way that directeth to the Land of the Living. And his form is sweet and friendly (according to the minds flesh) to behold, and his sayings and counsels delightful. And he is named the Wisdom of the Flesh.
  • These two wise ones do give the traveller several counsels.
  • The traveller who abjures the Wisdom of the Flesh and who accepts the discipline of the Law or Ordinance of the Lord receives ‘two instruments’: a compass called the Forsaking of Himself for the Good Lifes Sake. The other instrument overcomes temptation and hindrance and it is called Patience or Suffrance.

Now the text gives instructions about ‘meate and drink’ which are the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The traveler accepts to find himself on the Cross from whence comes

  • the death and burial of all the lusts and desires of the sinful flesh and all the flesh’s wisdom or good thinking.

Again, this should not be understood literally but seen as the transition from the material to the spiritual, the soul’s liberation from its entanglement in the world.

Now the ‘traveller’, following the counsel of the Law of the Lord, finds himself

  • in an unpathed land where many manner of temptations and deceits do meet with him, and coming into the same there appeareth unto him immediately a star out of the East, named Belief and Hope. This great unpathed land is named Many manner of Wanderings. And there is not one plain paved way.

The names of the Travellers are:

Stricken in Heart, Cumbered in Minde, Wofulness, Sorrowfulness, Anguish, Fear, Dismaidness, Perplexitie, Uncomfortablness, Undelightfulness, Heavy-mindedness, Many Manner of Thoughts, Dead Courage.

This is reminiscent of the group consisting of Jesus’ mother and her entourage in the foreground of Bruegel’s Road to Calvary (1566) in Vienna. There we see the expressing just these emotions while the vast crowd constituting the main descriptive parts of the picture are oblivious and display all the characteristics, described by H. N., of those who live in the Land of Ignorance or, as he says elsewhere, the ‘Land of Abomination and Desolation’. But also the Flight or Refuge to Egypth:

  • This land is an open and weak, or unwalled land; and is like unto a barren wilderness, wherein there is little joy to be found; but it is full of perils and deceits, because of the sundry sorts of temptations that do come to Travellers through perplexitie.
  • For if they (according to the Law of the Lord) have not a sharp watch unto the compass, nor hold them fast on the Cross, and also do not still mark the leading star, then they may soon be led into a by-way. For the wisdom of the flesh doth also come forth there oftentimes very subtilly, with her self-seeking, to point the traveller aside. But the traveller that passeth through the land of Mortyfying and, abstaining from all things, in patience, and seeketh not his own selfness; but (under the obedience of the Love) hath a much more desire to do the Lords will, he obtaineth a good salvation of the peaceable life. He shall be saved and rejoyce in the Everlasting Life.
  • Moreover, in this land, there is no perfect satisfying of hunger and thirst to be found, nor come by. For the herb wherewith they be sustained, and the fountain wherewith they be refreshed, do make them still the longer and more hungry and thirsty: as long as they are travelling towards the good Land of Peace.

Here the writer openly reveals the meaning of the available food.

  • The Herb wherewith the travellers be sustained is named the Serviceable Word of the Lord, and the fountain waters wherewith they be refreshed are named the Promise of Salvation in the New Testament of the Blood of Jesus Christ.

***

  • In this land there lie also fair hills that seem to be somewhat delightful of which the traveller must beware, for it is nothing but deceit, vanity and seducing. These hills are garnished with divers trees which do likewise bring forth vain and deceitful fruits [causing] travellers to leave the forsaking of themselves, taking on their self-seeking (that is, they take on their own righteousness and made holiness, or their ease in the flesh.) They do likewise leave the Patience and become negligent towards the Law of Ordinance of the Lord, wherewith they be drawn away by the deceit of the wisdom of the flesh.
  • The hills are named Taken on wit, or Prudence, Riches of the Spirit, Learned knowledg, Taken on Freedom, Good-thinking Prophesy, Zeal after Chosen Holiness, Counterfeit Righteousness, New-invented Humility, Pride in Ones Own Spiritualness, Unmindful of any better, and etc.
  • The trees that grow on the hills are named Colored Love, Literall Wisdom, Greedy towards Ones Own, Flattering-Alluring, Reproving of Naturalness, Promises of Vanity, Exalting of his Own Private Invention, Pleasing in Chosen Holiness, Greatly Esteeming his own Working of Private Righteousness.
  • The name of their fruits is Vain-Comforts [and] the people, having left forsaking of themselves, and the Cross, with the Meate-offering and Drink-offering, make their dwelling among these deceitful hills [and] let themselves be fed. They get some satisfaction from the Vain-Comforts and are also at first somewhat glad therethrough, also singing and crying: We have it, We have it, We are illuminated, Born anew and Come to Rest.
  • But (alas) when the sun riseth somewhat higher, then do the fruits wither. And when the Winter cometh, then stand the trees barren, and all is deceit and seducing.

***

  • The whilst then that the traveller doth travel towards this good land by the leading star (named Belief and Hope) so cometh he clean through all the deceit by means of forsaking himself. For that is a good compass unto him which pointeth to the good land.
  • And, with Patience, he likewise overcometh all assaults.
  • For there are many molesters and destroyers to be found, which do grievously vex the travellers in this land. But they do fear and tremble before the Holy Cross. [They] are named Trying of the Belief, Doubt or Distrustfulness to Come to the Good Land, Tempting with a Chosen Appeasement to the Flesh, Proving of the Belief with a Shew of Comforting with the Worldly Beauties, Proffering of the Possession of all the Riches of the Earthly Corruptibleness.

Here the traveller is exhorted in various ways not to forsake the holy Cross. It may help him to understand the idea that on the spiritual journey he must not seek to escape from the impossible contradictions he experiences in himself. Indeed he should welcome the pain of seeing all his folly, weakness and inadequacy.

In respect of that which he longs for, only an unflinching confrontation with the impossibility of his situation will show him that, in order to understand this lesson, he has to abandon all judgment and opinion of himself.

The ‘travellers’ on the journey are told to ‘forsake [them]selves’ as Niclaes so often reminds them. The traditions have special exercises associated with the disciplines of meditation, contemplative prayer and various forms of inner and outer work to help us here. Such labour introduces us to our personal, psychological cross. It is an inner state that, if we wish to continue, we cannot forsake.

  • Therefore be not afraid of your enemies, for God hath made them all dismaid through the Holy Cross of Christ.
  • The Holy Cross shall be unto you an Altar of the true burnt offering, and the serviceable gracious word of the Lord a safe-keeping gift or offering of Christ upon the same altar in the holy of the true Tabernacle of God and Christ, upon which Altar your gift becometh sanctified. [It is] kindled or set on fire for a burnt offering to the consuming of all the enemies of the good life, wherethrough then, likewise, your willing Dept-offering, Sin-offering and Death offering shall be acceptable to the Lord.

***

  • In this same throughfaring land, men also find a crafty murderer, that both high and low, wide and far, runneth all over this same land and he is named Unbelief. Of this wicked villain it behoveth us to be very wary, for by him there are many murdered. Forsake not the Holy Cross, nor the serviceable gracious word of the Lord.
  • [Also in this land there runs] a dangerous river where many travellers be drowned and choaked. It is named Desire and Pleasure in the Flesh.

The traveller is warned not to catch or eat the fishes that swim in the river whose names are:

  • Meate of the Temporal Delights instead of the Everlasting Good, Ease in the Flesh instead of Zeal to the Righteous, Honor of the World instead of Rest in the Spirit and Honor of God.
  • It seemeth indeed to be a very pleasant water for one to refresh and recreate himself in, but it is all meer deceit: vain and nothing.
  • [Also there are] thistles and thorns named Uncertain Consciences. Likewise divers natures of beasts named Envy, Wrath, Churlishness or Unfriendliness, Cruelty, Offensiveness, Resistance of Disobedience, Craftyness, Greedy Desire of Honor, Subtilty of Deceit, and Violence. And also one of the most detestable beasts (that will worst of all give way) is named Hypocrisie or Dissimulation, where under all manner of naughtiness is covered up with a colored vertue, or made holiness, and he is indeed the subtillest beast who provoketh the other beasts to devour travellers. Of which wild beasts the travellers must take heed with great foresightfulness, that they run not into the mouth of them and be swallowed up.

The story of the Tower of Babel (like that in The Suicide of Saul, Bruegel’s only other painting with an Old Testament subject) was interpreted as an example of pride punished, and that is no doubt what Bruegel intended his painting to illustrate. Moreover, the hectic activity of the engineers, masons and workmen points to a second moral: the futility of much human endeavour. Nimrod’s doomed building was used to illustrate this meaning in Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools. Pieter Bruegel’s Tower of Babel , originally displayed in the suburban villa of Antwerp entrepreneur Niclaes Jonghelinck as an image that fostered learned dinner conversation (convivium) about the well-being of the city. Looking at various sources, the author analyzes how the theme of the painting, a story of miscommunication and disorder, resonated with the challenges faced by the metropolis. Antwerp’s rapid growth resulted in the creation of a society characterized by extraordinary pluralism but with weakened social bonds. Convivium was one of the strategies developed to overcome differences among the citizens and avoid dystrophy of the community. Read more Here

  • [There are] three castles [upon which] are subtile watchers which are very crafty and wily.

The traveler is advised not to fear the castles though their powers are apparently very terrible. It is necessary to negotiate carefully, but once passed them he will see that they are

  • Nothing at all but deceit, vanity and bewitching. [They are named] The Power of Devils Assaulting, The Forsaking of Hope, Fear of Death.

The watchers, who try to capture people, are named ‘according to their natures’:

  • Appearing like Angels of Light, Indeavoring to Stealing of the Heart, Appearance of Vertue, Subtil Invention, Confidence in Knowledg, Made Laws and Imagined Rights, Disguised or Unknown Holiness, Self-framed Righteousness, and etc.
  • Now one cometh by the Good Land and approacheth neer unto the understanding of God. But many do run past the entrance thereof. For the neerer one cometh the more subtilly the deceits assault him; for beside the entrance there lieth [joyned to it] also a way that leadeth to an abominable or horrible land and the same way is a pleasant way to behold and pleasant likewise to enter into, wherewith many be deceived.
  • This pleasant way is named Knowledg of Good and Evil.
  • [Having] come into the pleasant way of the Knowledg of Good and Evil, and which in itself is ful of contention, ful of great and grievous incumbrances, then do appear in them an inward or spiritual pride, and they suppose they are somewhat singular and above other people because they have so much knowledg to talk of the truth, perswading themselves that the riches of knowledg is the very light of salvation.
  • Therefore this land is called the Abomination of Desolation. Howbeit it is all false and meer deceit.
  • In this land there is also a false light. The people do not know the true light, therefore they be all deceived and corrupted in this wilderness by the same false light, besides the which they know no other perfect good. [And so they have] nothing else but destruction and disturbance or dispensing of mindes and thoughts.
  • This same land of Desolation is like unto the intangled Babylon, because the knowledges do there run one against the other and cannot understand each other.

Here the author gives extended lists of psychological and moral disorders. We are given to understand that all these result from too much attachment to ‘knowledg’ i.e. ‘made knowledg’ (man-made knowledge) as opposed to revealed knowledge. There follows this insight

  • Many do chuse a way unto themselves, according to the knowledg of theirown minde, to the intent to live to themselves therein: and thus doth everyone walk there according as his knowledg imagineth him.
  • Everyone is resistant against each other with the knowledg. And the false light shineth upon them all, quite over the whole land. Therefore everyone supposeth that he must needs have the right, or cannot err, in his knowledg, and that he is illuminated by the Lord. But it is all dust, which dust scattereth abroad all over the whole land, like unto a drift-sand and is named Self-Wils Chusing.

***

The following is one of many passages whose psychological, moral and spiritual meaning has universal application. The description of the human condition, where things go ‘wonderfully absurdly’ seems close to Bruegel’s vision of the ‘upside down’ world. See also Rene Guenon “inversion of symbols” and “carnivals

  • Behold in this land, the Abomination of Desolation, it goeth very strange and wonderfully absurdly. For every man seeth that another mans foundation is vain and meer foolishness, but there is no man there, or very few, that can marke their own vanity or foolishness. Everyone doth very gladly thrust off another from his foundation to the end to advance his own. Yet are all their foundations, notwithstanding, Self-Wils Chusing; and are everyone uncertain and unstable and all their work is very feeble or weak. They strive and contend, and with high knowledg they caste down anothers work and turn up the foundations of it.
  • For whoever hath the highest mounting knowledge, or is the richest in spirit, or hath the most eloquent utterance of speech, he can there bear the sway, or get the chief praise, and can overthrow many other firm foundations and works which are also vain. And when any mans foundation or work is overthrown through any manner of knowledg, then is the same a great delight and glory unto the other that getteth the victory and an advancement of himself. So (contending or taking part, one against the other) do they likewise divide themselves into many several religions or God-services.
  • But although they be partially affected, as also have severall religions, and many manner of God-services, yet do they, notwithstanding, give their Religions and God-services one manner of name. Everyones Religion or God-service is named Assured Knowledg that is Right and Good. And everyone liveth in his own God-service, thinking and perswading himself assuredly that his religion or God-service is the best or the holiest above all other.

***

The Four Elements by Joachim Beuckelaer

***

  • They have a fair-spoken tongue; but commonly they are not loving, nor friendly of heart, but ful of envy and bitterness, soon stumbling and taking offence by reason that they stand captive under the knowledg and not submitted under the Love, nor under the obedience of his service.
  • They are also generally covetous of the earthly riches.
  • Their inclination is to speak false against others, also to blaspheme, oppress, persecute, betray and kill, and yet do know how to excuse all the same with the knowledg that they do right and well therein.
  • They use not any common brotherhood.

***

Note: Yet there is one story more, which shows some connexion with our subject, sounding worth being reported.

It concerns the Netherlandish artist Pieter Aertsen, a religious painter. When the sacred figurative art began to be contested and destroyed by an extreme Protestant iconoclasm, he changed his residence town and converted his works into genre scene. Very strange ones, indeed, since a scrupulous spectator can discern small holy scenes dissimulated in the background.

His Butcher’s Stall with the Flight into Egypt or A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms, which we have in two copies (1551; Uppsala University Art Collection and North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh) is the most ever disconcerting “Flight into Egypt”.

Here Niclaes expands this theme, pointing out how the absence of brotherhood and love extends to their various different religious sects and especially how they are ‘unmerciful’ to anyone who offers them the truth.

***

The next chapter further analyses man’s spiritual or psychological condition with the imagery of the inner ruler or king and his constitution.

  • [They] have also a king who reigneth very cruelly over them named Wormwood or Bitterness. His sceptre is named Great Esteeming of the Vain and Unprofitable Things. His crown is named Honor and Glory in Evil Doings. His horses and chariots are named Treaders Down or Oppressors of the Simple People. His council is named Subtil Invention. His kingdom is Unfaithfulness, All his nobility, horsemen, soldiers and guards are named Disorderly Life. His decrees or commandments are Self-Wil. His dominion or Lordship is Violence.
  • The kings subjects are called Craftiness, Arrogant Stoutness,
  • Stubbornness, Violence, Harmfulness, Spight, Sudden Anger, Greedy of Revenge, Gluttony, Cruelty, Bloodthirstyness, Resistance against the Love and her Service, Despising of Naturalness, Disobedience to Equity, Accusation over the Righteousness, Betrayers of Innocency, Oppressors of Humility, Killers of Meekness, Enviers of the Lovers of Unity, Exalters of Chosen Holiness, Usage of Falsehood, Own-selfness, Self-Wils Desire, Self-seeking etc.
  • And when one presenteth or profereth any better thing unto them, then rises up, by and by in them, their king of Bitterness, for to defend their causes, and judg him to be naught that loveth them to the best good.

***

  • A false prophet bewitches them with many longings and so he leadeth their hearts, mindes and thoughts into captivity of the knowledg and not into the truth. This false prophet is named Presumption whereof cometh Nothing.
  • Forasmuch as he hath allured the people unto him with such a presumption of boasting that they likewise in their unregenerate state, do boast them of the Light and the Word of Life; so perceive they not that they are bewitched by him.
  • It seemeth sometimes indeed, as though it would be somewhat, but it is all vain and presumption and nothing else but knowledg whereof cometh nothing.
  • The false prophet has a horrible beast with him named Unfaithfulness [who] maketh all the people utterly divided.

Niclaes’ psychological insights are the observations of a specialist. Here, for example, developing themes he has introduced, he describes how ‘the people’ cover their inner nakedness with ‘Garments named Fear of Being Despised’. His analysis of the spiritual condition of humanity – perhaps as relevant today as ever – brings light to the subconscious and shadowy parts of our inner landscape with the sure hand of a master.

  • This horrible beast, Unfaithfulness; this false prophet, Presumption; and the cruel king, Wormwood, have a great dominion in this same desolate abominable land.

***

Note: POWAQQATSI

POWAQQATSI’s overall focus is on natives of the Third World — the emerging, land-based cultures of Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and South America — and how they express themselves through work and traditions. What it has to say about these cultures is an eyeful and then some, sculpted to allow for varied interpretations.

Where KOYAANISQATSI dealt with the imbalance between nature and modern society, POWAQQATSI is a celebration of the human-scale endeavor the craftsmanship, spiritual worship, labor and creativity that defines a particular culture. It’s also a celebration of rareness — the delicate beauty in the eyes of an Indian child, the richness of a tapestry woven in Kathmandu — and yet an observation of how these societies move to a universal drumbeat.

POWAQQATSI is also about contrasting ways of life, and in part how the lure of mechanization and technology and the growth of mega-cities are having a negative effect on small-scale cultures. https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xthzhl

The title POWAQQATSI is a Hopi Indian conjunctive — the word Powaqa, I ( Ego),which refers to a negative sorcerer who lives at the expense of others, and Qatsi –i.e., life.

Several of “POWAQQATSI’s” images point to a certain lethargy affecting its city dwellers. They could be the same faces we saw in the smaller villages but they seem numbed; their eyes reflect caution, uncertainty. https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xti3jt

And yet POWAQQATSI, says Reggio, is not a film about what should or shouldn’t be. “It’s an impression, an examination of how life is changing”, he explains. “That’s all it is. There is good and there is bad. What we sought to capture is our unanimity as a global culture. Most of us tend to forget about this, caught up as we are in our separate trajectories. It was fascinating to blend these different existences together in one film.”

To be certain, POWAQQATSI is a record of diversity and transformation, of cultures dying and prospering, of industry for its own sake and the fruits of individual labor, presented as an integrated human symphony — and with Philip Glass’ score providing the counterpart, performed with native, classical and electronic instruments, its tribal rhythms fused by a single majesterial theme.

  • NAQOYQATSI –

More important than empires, more powerful than world religions, more decisive than great battles, more impactful than cataclysmic earth changes, NAQOYQATSI chronicles the most significant event of the last five thousand years: the transition from the natural milieu, old nature, to the “new” nature, the technological milieu. https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xtmtai

Nature has held earthly unity through the mystery of diversity. New nature achieves this unity through the awesome power of technological homogenization. NAQOYQATSI is a reflection on this singular event, where our subject is the medium itself, the wonderland of technology. The medium is our story. In this scenario human beings do not use technology as a tool (the popular point-of-view), but rather we live technology as a way of life. Technology is the big force and like oxygen it is always there, a necessity that we cannot live without. Because its appetite is seemly infinite, it is consuming the finite world of nature. It is in this sense that technology is NAQOYQATSI, a sanctioned aggression against the force of life itself – war life, a total – war beyond the wars of the battlefield. https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xtnedl

NAQOYQATSI takes us on an epical journey into a land that is nowhere, yet everywhere; the land where the image itself is our location, where the real gives way to the virtual. As the gods of old become dethroned, a new pantheon of light appears in the integrated circuit of the computer. Its truth, becomes the truth.

Extremes of promise and spectacle, tragedy and startling hope fuse in a digital tidal wave of image and music. In a poetic nanosecond, NAQOYQATSI give utterance to a new world coming, a new world here.

***

  • [The traveller] perceiving that these abominations of desolation do stand in the place where Gods Holy Beeing ought to stand [must] immediately flie out of the same and submit himself under the obedience of Love, and not have any regard any more to the Knowledg of Good and Evil, nor to Boasting of the Knowledge, nor to Assured Knowledg, nor to Presumption, nor yet to Unfaithfulness. [And thus he frees himself from] bondage to Bitterness, the king of that detestable land.
  • [The traveller] must at the end of his journey find himself altogether turned about.

Hendrik Niclaes is making it quite clear that there can be no half measures for seekers on the spiritual path. To be ‘altogether turned about’ is nothing less than the ‘dying to oneself’ in order to be ‘reborn from above’ that is taught in all traditions. He refers here to the necessarily arduous methods of spiritual work, symbolized in the text as ‘the Compass’, ‘the Cross’ and ‘Patience’. As “The Rest on the Flight into Egypt” , the “rest” place is a place where  the dead people are buried. The word cemetery (from Greek κοιμητήριον, “sleeping place”. It is the place of Transformation where the “old man” is left behind and the “new man” is born.

Note: Similarity between The Family of Love and Sufism

In our daily life we come up against situations that we cannot overcome in our own strength, or with our own wisdom. We need a strength and a wisdom that comes from Above, that comes from Beyond, that comes from Another outside of us and yet rises up from within us.“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” This transformation – sometimes called rebirth – is maybe difficult to achieve and costs a man dearly because it takes place in opposition to everything he values in material life;but that is an illusory life which he mistakes for the other.The seeker of truth begins to see the contradiction between what he is at present and what he is called to become and, seeing this, he cannot avoid suffering. If he has the courage to continue and if, in spite of suffering and other difficulties, he remains on the true path, he will eventually come to what tradition refers to as ‘dying to oneself’ in Sufism, ‘die before you dieWe find the same principle in Islam and Sufism :  “la ilaha illallah ” : “there is no God but God” , it is part of theShahada.The Shahada has been traditionally recited in the Sufi ceremony of dhikr (Arabic: ذِکْر‎, “remembrance“), a ritual that resembles mantras found in many other religious traditions.

  • But we have forgotten the Traditional concept of who Man is:

Adam, Muḥammad, and the View of Man
The Islamic view of man may best be defined and exemplified in relation to these two poles, Adam and Muḥammad, the first prophet and the last, the beginning of the story and the end of it. To lay stress upon the “closing of the circle” represented by Muḥammad’s mission is to stress also the primordial nature of this mission. History had unfolded and humanity had pursued its predestined course.
There had to be—and there was—a return to the origin,insofar as such a return might be possible at so late a stage in the cycle. Islam justifies itself as the dīn al-fiṭrah, which
might be translated as “the religion of primordiality” or even as “the original religion.”The perfect Muslim is not a man of his time or indeed of any other specific historic time. He is man as he issued from the hand of God. “You are all the
children of Adam” (or “the tribe of Adam”) as Muḥammad told his people.
In relation to man as such, the word fiṭrah may be taken to refer to the human norm from which, according to the Quran, humanity has fallen away.But the word is derived from a verb meaning “he created” or “he cleft asunder” (the act of creation being described as a cleaving asunder of the heavens and the earth)—hence, its reference back to the origins. It follows that the image of human perfection (or, quite simply, of human normality) lies in the past, not in the future, and theway to its attainment lies not in an aspiration focused on a distant goal or in any miraculous redemption from inherent sinfulness but rather through the removal of accretions and distortions that have both corroded and twisted a perfection that is, in essence, natural to mankind.It is a question not of leaping over the world or of being rescued from it but of retracing, in an upward direction, the downward slope of time.
We have here a sharp contrast to the Christian view, which posits a primordial corruption of the innermost core of the human creature. But not with the view of Bruegel, the Family of Love and Hiel. Their message is : ” In our daily life we come up against situations that we cannot overcome in our own strength, or with our own wisdom. We need a strength and a wisdom that comes from Above, that comes from Beyond, that comes from Another outside of us and yet rises up from within us”.For Islam this core remains sound and cannot be otherwise. Neither time nor  circumstance can totally destroy what God has made, but time and circumstance can cover it with layer upon layer of darkness.This offers a clue to the deeper meaning of the term kāfir, usually translated as “infidel,” “unbeliever,” or “denier of the truth.” The word kafara means “he covered,” in the way that the farmer covers seed he has sown.In fallen man—man at the bottom of the slope—there has taken place a covering of the Divine “spark” within and, as a direct result of this, he himself covers (and so ignores or denies) the Truth,which has been revealed with dazzling clarity and which is, at the same time, inherent in the hidden “spark.”Islam envisages this man as imprisoned in a cell the walls of which he reinforces by his own misguided efforts, the cell of the ego, which sets itself up as a little god and isolates itself from the stream of Divine Mercy which flows at its doorstep.The guidance provided by the Messenger of God offers him the opportunity, if he will take
it, to come out into the open, the sunlight, which is his natural environment.The command inherent in this message is: Be what in truth you are! From this point of view it may be said—and has often been said although seldom with full understanding—that the Islamic concept of man is “static.” All is here and now, neither distant nor in another time. His way is upwards, vertically with “Uprightness”, not downwards or horizontally, predending we can overcome in our own strength, or with our own wisdom. Read more here

  • Blessed Virgin Mary – Mystical Commentary

by Sheik Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi

To advance along the ascending way, one enters solitude and seclusion – not necessarily in a literal sense, but even while remaining within the context of family and social responsibility. These communal responsibilities are the sacred temple of human existence. However, solitude alone will not be sufficiënt.

One must remain oriented toward the mystic east, the direction of prayer. One must learn to gaze at the perpetual dawn of Divine Wisdom. This implies full participation in the science of prayer, as expressed within an authentic sacred tradition.

After entering that “solitary room facing east”, which is inwardness and simplicity of mind and heart, one can contemplate Divine Beauty manifest through the transparent creation – the universe in its pristine nature, untouched by conventional conceptuality but illumined instead by prophetic revelation.

Gradually, one’s being becomes more peaceful, harmonious, integrated. Divine Light begins to manifest directly.

Within this ineffable brightness, the conventional structures of society and our own habitual forms of perception are no longer visible. Within this dimension of sheer radiance, both waking visions and mystical dreams occur.

These subtle experiences are indications of progress along the evolutionary way, the steep path spoken of by Allah Most High in His Holy Quran. They can be accurately interpreted by a sheikh, or spiritual guide, who has received empowerment from a previous guide in the unbroken lineage of the Prophet Muhammad to carry on this sacred task of dream interpretation.

The combined inspiration and intention of disciple and guide, murid and murshid, sparks the alchemical process which is called inward.  Read more here

  • The birth of Jesus in man

Faouzi Skali in his book Jesus and the Sufi Traditon explains in the 10 chapter,The birth of Jesus in man:

The soul of the mystic, Rûmi teaches us, is similar to Mary: “If your soul is pure enough and full of love enough, it becomes like Mary: it begets the Messiah”.

And al-Halláj also evokes this idea: “Our consciences are one Virgin where only the Spirit of Truth can penetrate

In this context, Jesus then symbolizes the cutting edge of the Spirit present in the human soul: “Our body is like Mary: each of us has a Jesus in him, but as long as the pains of childbirth do not appear in us, our Jesus is not born” ( Rumi, The Book of the Inside, V).

This essential quest is comparable to suffering of Mary who led her under the palm tree (Koran XIX, 22-26): “ I said:” 0 my heart, seek the universal Mirror, go towards the Sea, because you will not reach your goal by the only river! ”

In this quest, Your servant finally arrived at the place of Your home as the pains of childbirth led Mary towards the palm tree “(RÛMi, Mathnawî, II, 93 sq.)

Just as the Breath of the Holy Spirit, breathed into Mary, made him conceive the Holy Spirit, as so when the Word of God (kalám al-haqq) enters someone’s heart and the divine Inspiration purifies and fills his heart (see Matthew V, 8 or Jesus in the Sermon of the Mountain exclaims: “Blessed are pure hearts, for they will see God! “) and his soul, his nature becomes such that then is produced in him a spiritual child (walad ma’nawî) having the breath of Jesus who raises the dead.

Human beings,” it says in Walad-Nama ( French translation, Master and disciple, of Sultan Valad and Kitab al-Ma’ârif  the Skills of Soul Rapture), must be born twice: once from their mother, another from their own body and their own existence. The body is like an egg: the essence of man must become in this egg a bird, thanks to the warmth of Love; then it will escape its body and fly into the eternal world of the soul, beyond space.

And Sultan Walad adds: “If the bird of faith (imán) is not born in Man during its existence, this earthly life is then comparable to a miscarriage.

The soul, in the prison of the body, is ankylosed like the embryo in the maternal womb, and it awaits its deliverance. This will happen when the “germ” has matured, thanks to a descent into oneself, to a painful awareness: “The pain will arise from this look thrown inside oneself, and this suffering makes pass to beyond the veil. As long as the mothers do not take birth pains, the child does not have the possibility of being born (. Rumi, Mathnawî, II, 2516 sq.) (…) My mother, that is to say my nature [my body], by his agony pains, gives birth to the Spirit … If the pains during the coming of the child are painful for the pregnant woman, on the other hand, for the embryo, it is the opening of his prison ”(Ibid., 3555 sq)

Union with God, explains Rûmi, manifests itself when the divine Qualities come to cover the attributes of His servant:

God’s call, whether veiled or not, grants what he gave to Maryam. 0 you who are corrupted by death inside your body, return from nonexistence to the Voice of the Friend! In truth, this Voice comes from God, although it comes from the servant of God! God said to the saint: “I am your tongue and your eyes, I am your senses, I am your contentment and your wrath. Go, for you are the one of whom God said: ‘By Me he hears and by Me he sees!’ You are the divine Consciousness, how should it be said that you have this divine Consciousness? Since you have become, by your wondering, ‘He who belongs to God’.

I am yours because ‘God will belong to him. Sometimes, I tell you: ‘It’s you!’, Sometimes, ‘It’s me!’ Whatever I say, I am the Sun illuminating all things. “(Mathnawî, I, 1934 sq).

Once the illusion of duality has been transcended, all that remains in the soul is the divine Presence: the soul then finds in the depths of its being the divine effigy.

It has become the place of theophany. This is what Rumi calls the spiritual resurrection: “The universal Soul came into contact with the partial soul and the latter received from her a pearl and put it in her womb. Thanks to this touch of her breast, the individual soul became pregnant, like Mary, with a Messiah ravishing the heart. Not the Messiah who travels on land and at sea, but the Messiah who is beyond the limitations of space! Also, when the soul has been fertilized by the Soul of the soul, then the world is fertilized by such a soul “( Ibid., II, 1184 sq.).

This birth of the spiritual Child occurs out of time, and therefore it occurs in each man who receives him with all his being through this “Be!” that Marie receives during the Annunciation: “From your body, like Maryam, give birth to an Issa without a father! You have to be born twice, once from your mother, another time from yourself. So beget yourself again! If the outpouring of the Holy Spirit dispenses again his help, others will in turn do what Christ himself did: the Father pronounces the Word in the universal Soul, and when the Son is born, each soul becomes Mary (Ibid., III, 3773.)

So Jesus can declare: “O son of Israel, I tell you the truth, no one enters the Kingdom of Heaven and earth unless he is born twice! By the Will of God, I am of those who were born twice: my first birth was according to nature, and the second according to the Spirit in the Sky of Knowledge!  » (Sha’ranî, Tabaqat, II, 26; Sohrawardî, ‘Awarif, I, 1)

The second birth corresponds to what we also gain in Sufism as the “opening (fath) of the eye of the heart“: “When Your Eye became an eye for my heart, my blind heart drowned in vision ; I saw that You were the universal Mirror for all eternity and I saw in Your Eyes my own image. I said, “Finally, I found myself in His Eyes, I found the Way of Light!” (Rumi, Mathnawî, II, 93 sq.)

This opening is the promise made by God to all those who conclude a pact with the spiritual master, pole of his time, like the apostles with Jesus or the Companions when they pledged allegiance to Muhammad:God was satisfied with believers when they swore an oath to you under the Tree, He knew perfectly the content of their hearts, He brought down on them deep peace (sakina), He rewarded them with a prompt opening ( fath) and by an abundant booty  which they seized ”(Coran XLVIII, 18-19).(The abundant loot indicates Divine Knowledge (mari’fa)

***

With the help of these, having come thus far he now

  • cometh before the city gate of the Holy Land and stands in submission like unto a good willing one to the Lords will. [This] is called the Burying of the Affections and Desires. He findeth, through the same submission, the key for to enter therewithal through the gate into the City where the Everlasting Life, Peace and Rest is. This key is called Equity.

In the City of Peace he is lovingly received:

  • Even thus one becometh as they, incorporated to the body of the same true king, Gods True Beeing, with all the people of the same good land.
  • The names of the saints [there] are Meekness, Courtesie, Friendliness, Longsuffrance, Mercifulness, etc.

The city, we are told, has strong fortress-like walls and a watchman who ‘keeps a diligent watch’, who never sleeps and who

  • Overlooketh all things, namely, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. His trumpet, wherethrough he playeth his song is named After this Time no More.

There follow several chapters consisting almost entirely of quotations from both Old and New Testaments in the celebratory style reserved for praising God, his creation and all his works. The author then returns to describing details of the city’s layout and structure. We learn, for example, that situated on the walls is an ordinance called Power of God.., and from the city

  • floweth an unsearchable or infinitely deep river with also a very tempestuous winde [that] devours all the enemies of the same good City. [The river and the winde] are called Righteous Judgment of God and the Spirit of the Almighty God. [Protected by these] the children of the City learn Understanding and Knowledg, which wisdom (that they learn thereout) is also an holy wisdom and that Understanding is Godly knowledg.

***

In the painting of Joachim patinir Rest on the Flight into Egypt 

see:

Note: We are not the first generation to know that we are destroying the world.  But  we could be the last that can do anything about it, not with the vanity of  earthly knowledge and so called democratic solidarity and wisdom here on earth  as this commercial of WWF wants to convince us, but with asking humbly the help of Divine Wisdom so realising in us the image of the man who painfully transcends his material ego: The birth of his soul. It is a test. It’s time to decide! 

***

  • For without this City there is no understanding, wisdom or knowledg of God, or of Godly things; no not at all. All else is foolishness and hypocrisie.

Niclaes emphasizes the absolute newness of everything in this place. He tells us that we have to be ‘new-born in the spirit’ and that this new birth takes place only through ‘Love and the service of Love’. For Niclaes and the Familists the definition of love is that given in the New Testament: ‘God is Love’.

– ‘steady manifestation of love…nobody has ever expressed in equal perfection and beauty the fervor and enthusiasm of the initiated mystic, inspired by union with God, as Paul has expressed them in his two hymns of love ― the hymn on the love of God (Rom. viii. 31 ff), and the hymn on the love of men (1 Cor. xiii. 13- 15. Love is the Kingdom of God.

His remarks here remind us that what he describes in an entirely inner experience.

  • The City is a spiritual City of Life
  • The nature and minde [of the inhabitants] is nothing else but love, like those that are risen from the death with the Resurrection of the Righteousness in the Everlasting Life.
  • The God whom we serve is a secret God. He is the substance of all substances, the true life of all lives, the true light of all lights, the true mind of all minds.
  • Whosoever now forsaketh all the desolate lands and people [and] also hath his respect diligently bent upon the leading star in the East, and walketh on rightly according to the compasse, as likewise, forsaketh not the Crosse, and so cometh to the Submission, by him shall be found the equity, with the which he entereth into Gods nature. And so he cometh into the good Citie, full of riches and joy.

The traveler, having reached his goal, is free to go anywhere he wants. He may even wish to return to his previous abode in order to help those still there to make their escape.

  • He now therefore, that is, in this manner come thereunto, may, as then, in the love and in the unity of peace, go out and in without any harme, and may walk through all Lands, Places and Cities; bring unto all lovers of the good land, that are seeking the same, good tydings, give them good incouragement, as to respect all enemies like chaffe, and as nothing, show them the next way into the life, and so lead them with him into the good land.
  • Whosoever now is under the obedience of the love doth flow out of and into the same secret kingdome, even like unto a living breath of God. And [he] can very well walk in freedome, among all people, and also remaine still free.
  • For the knowledg separateth nor hurteth not him

The serpents deceit nor her poison cannot kill him

The foolishness allureth not him

The chosen righteousness snareth not him

The deceitfull hills seduceth not him

The ignorance blindeth not him

Nor the leaders of the blind doe not lead him

And even thus is God with him and he with God

  • We praise thee O Father for thou hast hidden these things from the proud-boasting wise, and the prudent understanding ones, and revealed them to the little humble ones. The rich in spirit, nor the great, wise or industrious scripture-learned ones, have not understood the same; but to the poor in spirit, and to the simple of understanding, has thou given it.

There follow here several chapters in the form of hymns of praise and rejoicing, very much in the style of – if not actually quoting from – the Psalms and the Old Testament prophets.

Hendrik Niclaes.now lays out his justification for speaking so openly ‘because of the great need of the times’. Yet he regrets that he is so little heard. Again and again he emphasizes the fact that a man cannot come to God through his ordinary mind, however well educated and well developed.

  • But oh, Alas! We have now in this rebellious time, very speciall cause to sigh and mourn grievously, over the blindness of many people and to bewaile the same with great dolour of our hearts. And that chiefly, because there is now in the same day of love and of the mercy of God, so little knowledg of the good life of peace and of Love to be found among them. And also, for that the same knowledg is desired of so few, and yet much lesse loved. But they do almost everyone delight to walk in strange waies that stretch to contention and destruction, by which occasion they live in molestations and deadly afflictions everywhere.
  • Therefore may we, with wofulness and sighing hearts, very justly say, that it is now a perilous time to be saved, and to escape or to remain over to preservation. Oh, what venomous windes do there blow to the desolation and destruction of men! Yea, it seemeth almost unpossible for the man to come to his salvation, or preservation in Christ, or the lovely life of peace.
  • Yet have some, notwithstanding, according to the imagination of their knowledg, run on, or labored for the spiritual things, for that they would understand them; also many have, according to their understanding of the flesh, testified of them.
  • But seeing they have not sought their knowledg of spiritual things in the obedience of the Christian doctrine of the service of love, but in their knowledg of the flesh, and so have taken on their understanding of the knowledg of spiritual things out of the imagination of their own knowledge; therefore they have likewise understood those same spiritual things according to the mind of their flesh, and witnessed of them in the same manner also. For that cause likewise the right knowledge of spiritual things and heavenly understanding hath not in the cleernesse of the true light shined unto them.
  • Wherefore it is in like manner found true, that the fleshly-minded ones, which sow upon the flesh or which build upon the foreskin of their uncircumcised hearts, doe mow the corruption and inherit the destruction. But those that are circumcised in their hearts, in the laying away of the fore-skin of the sinfull flesh, and in the obeying of the requiring of our most holy service of Love, are become spiritually minded and so then do sow upon the spirit, or build upon the spirituall, which is the true being itselfe.
  • For all flesh, although it does speak of spirituall and heavenly things, through knowledg, yet it is doubtlesse nothing else but like the grasse of the field, and all his garnishing of beauty and holiness is like the unto the flowers of the field; behold the grasse drieth away, and the beauty of the field withereth and decayeth.
  • But the spirituall good, the power of God and his living being (whereof all what is good standeth firm, and floweth thereout) remaineth stedfast, unchangeable for ever and in the same, or through, the manifestation of the same being, the Kingdome of God of heavens, cometh inwardly in us, and that is the true light of everlasting life.
  • Whose naked cleernesse, although the same be nothing else but light and life, is hidden, shut and covered from all understandings and wisdomes of the flesh, or that build thereon.
  • But it is manifest and shineth bright to the circumcised heart, and to the upright spirituall minded ones, in a spirituall heavenly understanding. And the same cleerness is the beeing of God from heaven, the upright righteousness and holinesse, and the life of God in eternity.
  • Wherefore the doore of life is now opened unto us, the Kingdome of the God of heavens and the Heavenly Jerusalem, or the City of Peace, descended downe to us and come neerby.
  • But not according to the thinking-good, or imagination, of our own hearts, nor according to the mind of the earthly wisdome, wherethrough many have estranged them from the truth of life.
  • Therefore can no man see the kingdom of God except that he becometh born anew in the spirit and is become plain, and just, and simple like unto a new-born babe.

***

  • We have signified or shewed in writing all of what the lover of the kingdom must forsake; if he will come to the good land of Peace, or enter into the rest of all the holy ones of God.
  • But not that the lover of the good land shall therefore think that he must first come to everyone of the forementioned horrible places, or that must pass through them all, before he can come to the good city of Peace. O no, ye dearly beloved, but the cause why we have marked out all the abominations and desolation is, for to make knowne every place of deceit and all the seducing or leading away from the good land of life.

The choice of the “Refugee”:

  • Meaning of Jesus Infancy

Note: COMMENTARY ON THE JOHANNINE PROLOGUE by Hildegard of Bingen

In the beginning was the Word( Logos) , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1-1

“For we are the image of God, Hildegard tells us, and if we wish to see God we need look no further than our souls and bodies, ourselves and our neighbors.”

Few of us have been blinded by the reverberating light of Christ or seen the shimmering form of Lady Wisdom spinning her cosmic wheel. But then, we do not need to: For we are the image of God, Hildegard tells us, and if we wish to see God we need look no further than our souls and bodies, ourselves and our neighbors. “God willed that his Word should create all things, as he had foreordained before the ages. And why is it called a Word? Because with a resounding voice it awakened all creatures and called them to itself.” In the same way, human beings, formed in the Creator’s likeness, are inescapably creative, for we work with our hands and command with our voices. “What was made in the Word was life”: Like our Creator, we too live by the works that we create. By our making, we reveal ourselves to ourselves, and, what is more, we reveal God to one another. God’s rational word echoes in our speech, his praise resounds in our songs, and his creativity is declared in our creations.

The living Light that made us is the singing Word that took our flesh; he made us because we were eternally his and he wished to be revealed as ours. We are his mirrors, his marvels, his fellow workers, and the work of his hands.Read HILDEGARD’S COMMENTARY ON THE JOHANNINE PROLOGUE

  • Jesus – The Paradigm of a Pilgrim in God

Jesus, the physical embodiment of the divine Breath

For Ibn ʿArabī, Jesus is an exceptional being. As the Andalusian author relates, Jesus was his first master and was decisive in his entry into the way of Sufism. This personal relationship, similar to a first love, encouraged him to hope that he would be a witness to the day of Jesus’s coming, and perhaps this motivated him to live his final years in Damascus, the place of his descent.

Jesus follows a path from God, and returns to God, without ever having been away from God; his descent into this world is followed by his ascent to the second Heaven (the one of Mercury), waiting to descend again to the great mosque of Damascus, before making the final ascent to Paradise. His vertical movement combines with a horizontal movement – that is, he travels ceaselessly [his ceaseless travelling] across the world as a wanderer with no place to rest his head. This constant travel is a manifestation of the constant activity of God and reveals the nature of all reality. Every creature is a word that comes from God and is destined to return to Him. In addition, Jesus, by means of his preaching centred on asceticism and the reminder of death, and through his alchemical spiritual and health-giving activity, he helps human beings on their path of return to the Creator.Read more…

  • Viriditas: the greening power of the Divine (or Divine Healing Power of Green)

Viriditas is one of the most recognizable contributions of Hildegard of Bingen.

For Hildegard, viriditas encapsulated the divine force of nature, the depth and breadth of which is reflected in the various translations. These words within the word are laden with meaning; with lively, powerful connotations that capture the essence Hildegard had conceptualized so long ago.

The origin of Viriditas,” Viridity” may be the union of two Latin words: Green and Truth. (Latin viridis (source of Spanish, Italian verde), related to virere “be green, and Old English triewð (West Saxon), treowð (Mercian) “faith, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty; veracity, quality of being true; pledge, covenant,” from Germanic abstract noun *treuwitho, from Proto-Germanic treuwaz “having or characterized by good faith,” from PIE *drew-o-, a suffixed form of the root *deru- “be firm, solid, steadfast.also *dreu-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning “be firm, solid, steadfast,

But like most Latin words, Viriditas does not easily translate into convenient, straightforward English. While being difficult to translate may be frustrating to some, there is beauty in this complexity.

The Basic Definition and Origin

The definition is both literal, as in “green”, “greenness”, and “growth”, yet also metaphorical, as in “vigor”, “verdure”, “freshness” and “vitality.” For Hildegard, the spiritual aspects were just as essential as the physical meaning. In much of her work, viriditas was “the greening power of God.” It was in everything, including humans.

This “greenness” was an expression of heaven, the creative power of life, which can be witnessed in the gardens, forests, and farmland all around us. And like those lands, she saw viriditas as something to be cultivated in both our bodies and our souls.

What is it? Hildegard says it is God’s   freshness that we receive as spiritual and physical life‐forces. This is vivid imagery  that probably came to her simply as she looked around the countryside. The  Rhine valley is lush and green and as we know today, a wonderful place,  flourishing in fruit and vineyards. This greening power mysteriously is inherent in  animals and fishes and birds, in all plants and flowers and trees, in all the  beautiful things of this world.

Human flesh is green she says and our blood  possesses this special greening power. The “life force of the body” (the soul) was  green. Whenever sex was involved—she said there was a particular brightness in  the green. This greening power was at the heart of salvation and the reality of the  Word was verdant life.    This greenness connects us all together as humanity  and shines forth giving us common purpose. It is the  strength within us that manifests as a strong and  healthy life. This greenness originates in the four  elements: earth and fire, water and air. It is sustained  by the four qualities: by dry and moist, by cold and hot;  not only the body—but greenness of soul as well.

Hildegard contrasts greening power or wetness with  the sin of drying up (one of her visions.) A dried‐up  person or a dried‐up culture loses the ability to create.  Hildegard saw this as a grave sin and a tragedy. It also  describes how she felt about herself during those years  when she was refusing to write down her visions and  voices. Her awakening did not occur until she embraced  her own viriditas. From then on Hildegard was  constantly creating.

This is in contrast to greening— dry straw, hay or chaff  representing dried up Christians  who are scattered and cut  down by the just Divinity of the  Trinity. 

‘O most honored Greening Force, You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.

You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.

You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
–  Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae

Hildegard gives an interesting image about greenness  stating that it drenches all things in this world and then  gives the tree as an example. The function of the tree’s sap [its life blood that we know as its essential oil] falls to the soul in the human  body. Its powers or abilities enable us to unfold or develop form just as it does in  the tree. In other words, the tree’s essential oil gives life and nourishment— moistness to humans. She goes on to make comparisons between the tree’s  branches, leaves, blossoms, and fruit with  various stages within human life.    For Hildegard, viriditas is that natural driving   force, the life force that is always directed  toward healing and wholeness. Love, too, is the  breath of the same vital green power that  sustains all life’s greenness. She sees the Holy  Spirit as that power that gives human beings  the green and open space where they are  capable of responding to the Word and joining  in all of creation. The Spirit purifies the world,  scours away all guilt, and heals all wounds and  sadness.    So, green is not a mere color for Hildegard—it is  an attitude and purposeful intent. It is the  permanent inflowing and outflowing of  viriditas. Ultimately—we are talking about  physical health from the inexhaustible fountain  of life’s living light. It is the very joy of being  alive.

  • Mythology of May Day:

First we talk  about the Goddess who lies behind May Day; second will be about the bonfires of May Day Eve and third  the mythology and rituals behind the Maypole.

Since May 1 lies about halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, it was considered a good time to mark the transition into summer. Indeed, in most of medieval northern Europe (meaning the Celtic calendar), May 1 was the beginning of summer. By then the seeds for crops had just been sown (so farmers and their laborers could take a short break), and it was time to drive cattle and sheep out to their summer pastures. Both the sprouting crops and the soon-to-be pastured cattle needed divine protection from the dangers of the natural and supernatural worlds, which is why May Day developed as a holiday and took on the associated rituals and mythology that it did. And a goddess was a good figure to deal with such human concerns.

The Goddess of what is now May Day goes back to ancient times, in Anatolia, Greece, and Rome. Spring goddesses came to be venerated at two Roman holiday festivals that led to our May Day. The Roman Empire is important here because it took over much of Europe and the British Isles. Its mythology, associated rituals, and holidays spread there and merged with local conditions, mythologies, holidays, and customs.

The first of these goddesses of spring holidays was the Hilaria festival (from Greek hilareia/hilaria (“rejoicing”) and Latin hilaris (“cheerful”), held between the vernal equinox and April 1. It goes back to when the Phrygian goddess Cybele was introduced to Rome, at the end of the 3rd century BCE. In her myth, she had a son-lover, Attis, a dying-and-rising god who was mortally gored by a boar. Cybele knew that he had not died for eternity but that his spirit simply had taken refuge in a tree for the winter, and that he would be reborn from the tree in the spring, on the vernal equinox. When Cybele was introduced in Rome, she was given her temple of Magna Mater on the Palatine hill and a also a holiday with corresponding rituals. In her festival, a pine tree (that of Attis) was cut and stripped of its branches, wrapped in linen like a mummy, and decorated with violets (Cybele’s flower, because in the myth violets were said to have sprung from the blood of Attis).

It was then brought before Cybele’s temple on wagons in what resembled a funeral cortege, since Attis was “dead” inside the tree. This was followed by days of frenzied grief and mourning (including scourging) known as the “blood days,” when the tree was symbolically buried in a “tomb.” Attis then resurrected (rose out of the tree) on the day of Hilaria and was reunited with Cybele, symbolizing the beginning of spring. The tree was then erected before Cybele’s temple, and the people celebrated around it. The celebrations ended on April 1, which may be the origin of our April Fool’s day (the people were having a “hilarious” celebration). This has obvious parallels with the Maypole and May Day celebrations.

The second of these holidays was the Floralia, named after Flora, goddess of flowers and spring. Originally she may have been a Sabine goddess, about whom we know nothing other than that she had a spring month named after her on the Sabine calendar (Flusalis, linguistically related to Floralia) and that supposedly an altar to her in Rome was established by the Sabine king Tatius during the legendary period of his joint rule of Rome with Romulus. But none of her Sabine mythology has survived. In Rome Flora acquired her entire surviving mythology from the Greek spring goddess Chloris (from chloros – “pale green”),

who, as Ovid tells us, was originally a beautiful nymph in the Elysian Fields catering to the pleasures of the fortunate dead. There she also attracted the attention of Zephryos, the god of the West Wind and of spring, who quickly had his way with her. But then he married her, in what turned out to be a happy, loving marriage. As a wedding gift he filled her fields (her dowry in the marriage) with a flower garden, the flowers in which were said to spring from the wounds of Attis and Adonis. Zephyros, as the West Wind, brings the spring rains that grow the flowers. Thus, Virgil wrote that “the meadows ungirdle to Zephyros’s balmy breeze; the tender moisture avails for all.” Chloris also bore from Zephryos a son, Karpos, in Greek meaning “fruit” or “crop.” Through Zephyros’s wedding gift she became the goddess having jurisdiction over flowers, which she spread (by spreading their seeds) all over the earth, which until then was monochrome. She became goddess of spring. As Flora in Rome, in the late 3rd century BCE a festival was instituted in her honor that lasted from April 28 to May 2. It included theater, a sacrifice to Flora, a procession in which a statue of Flora was carried, as well as competitive events and other spectacles at the Circus Maximus. One of these involved releasing captured hares and goats (both noted for their fertility) into the Circus, and scattering beans, vetches, and lupins (all fertility symbols) into the crowd. The celebrants wore multi-colored clothing symbolizing flowers and spring, as later was customary on May Day in Europe. It was a time of generally licentious behavior. Flora also had a rose festival on May 23.

Read here more: Green Man, May Day and May Pole

The Principle of Verticality  by M. Ali Lakhani

The spiritual man is one who transcends himself and loves to transcend himself;the worldly man remains horizontal and detests the vertical dimension.

Frithjof Schuon

The  principle  of  verticality,  which  is  a  fundamental  principle  of traditional wisdom, is based on the affirmation of transcendence as an aspect of a comprehensive and integrated reality that is Absolute.

According to this understanding, reality has both a transcendent Origin and an immanent Center, which are one, rather than being reduced to the merely horizontal dimension of its existential or quantitative elements.

Verticality implies both Heaven and Earth, a worldview in which meaning and purpose are defined principally by both height and depth,and secondarily by breadth – that is, principally by man’s relationship to God, who is simultaneously ‘above’ and ‘within’ creation, and who there-fore governs all creaturely relationships – rather than by breadth alone –that is, solely in terms of the relationship between the subject and the world.

It also implies that the horizontal is subordinate to the vertical,that is to say, the relationship between man and the world is premised on the primary relationship between God and man: to restate this in Christian terms, the love of one’s neighbor is premised on one’s love for God. According to the traditional worldview, existence is transcended by a supreme reality, which, whether expressed in theistic or non-theisticterms, is Absolute, and which, without derogating from its unity, is si-multaneously (at the level of the primary hypostasis) expressed by the horizontal ternary, Truth or the Solely Subsistent Reality, Goodness or the Perfection and Font of all Qualities, and Beauty or Abiding Serenity and the Source of its Radiant Effulgence: in Platonic terms, the True, the Good and the Beautiful.

All creation is prefigured in this supreme reality,which projects existence out of its own Substance into a world of form (hence etymologically, ex-stare, to stand out of, or to subsist from, as the formal world of existence stands out of, and subsists from, the Divine Substance) through a vertical ternary comprising, first, the Essential or Principial Absolute (which is Beyond-Being), second, the Relative-Absolute Source of Archetypes (which is the primary hypostasis of Being), and third, the realm of Manifestation (which is Existence).

Tree of Life and Death Flanked by Eve and Mary-Ecclesia

  • Description: This image precedes the liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi in a missal created for the Archbishop of Salzburg. The central roundel depicts a tree that bears both fruit and sacramental hosts. It thus combines the paradisaical Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge from Eden. On the right is Eve, who hands a forbidden fruit to a man kneeling at her feet. A death’s head appears among the fruits on her side of the tree. The tempting serpent winds around the trunk, and offers Eve another piece of fruit from its mouth. On the left side is Mary-Ecclesia. Rather than a death’s head, a crucifix hangs on this side. Instead of fruit, Mary-Ecclesia administers one of the hosts to a kneeling man who opens his mouth to accept it, and she is in the process of plucking yet another wafer. She is presented as a mirror image of Eve and thus the salvific antidote to the Fall. An angel accompanies Mary-Ecclesia on the left and Death accompanies Eve on the right. Both hold banderoles bearing text. Adam reclines in a gesture of sorrow at the base of the tree and also holds a banderole. In the upper two roundels are princely figures who hold banderoles bearing the text of Psalm 77:25 on the left    ( Man ate the bread of angels: he sent them provisions in abundance”).and Psalm 36:16 on the right ( “Better is a little to the just, than the great riches of the wicked”). Three shepherds depicted below illustrate Thomas Aquinas’s Corpus Christi sequence “Lauda ducem et pastorum,” but they also embody the virtues expected of a good ruler. The one on the left is the personification of “Prudentia,” the one in the center is “Regalitas,” and the one on the right is “Verus Pastor.” All are accompanied by banderoles.
  • Inscription: Angel: ecce panis angelorum factus cibus viatorum [behold the bread of angels made food for pilgrims]; Death: mors est malus vita bonis inde [death is evil, life therefore is goodness]; Upper left prince: Panem angelorum manducavit homo

The world itself,and its creatures, including man, as such, are therefore of derivative significance and are accidental in relation to the supreme reality, which alone is substantial. The world is transient, ephemeral and illusory.

 

Dream of the Virgin:

This small panel painting shows the Virgin lying asleep while a companion reads to her at the foot of her bed. Above her, Christ is crucified not on the cross, but on a golden Tree of Life that rises from the Virgin’s womb, while below her, a hand reaching down from the bed opens the gates of Limbo to release Adam and Eve.

The subject makes explicit the idea of the redemption of mankind through the intercession of the Virgin.

The Blessed Virgin Mary fell asleep on Mt. Rahel, Jesus came to her and asked; Mother are you asleep? I did sleep but you my Son awakened me, said the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She continued telling him this; I saw you in the Garden, stripped of your clothes, you were led to Caiphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herode. There your Holy face was spat on (upon) and they crowned you with thorns.

Then they tied you to a pillar of stone and beat you with the chain of iron until your Holy Flesh fell away and then they nailed you on the cross and with a spear they pierced your side from which came your Holy Blood and Water. For more info Read the The Way of the Seeded Earth, Part 1: The Sacrifice (Historical Atlas of World Mythology) 

Sacrifice : the hidden meaning of easter and the ressurection of Nature in the month of May

“Death is not the opposite of life. The opposite of death is birth. Life has no opposite.” — Eckhart Tolle

What if the story of Jesus isn’t about Jesus at all?

To re-cast a famous Joseph Campbell saying, what if each of us is the dying god of our own lives? What riches are uncovered if we read the dying god stories not as literal, historical events but as metaphors for our own evolution from material, biological beings bound by instinctual conditioning into spiritual beings of awakened consciousness? Is it any wonder then that the dying god is so often born of a virgin or through some other non-biological process? Horus was conceived as his mother Isis hovered in the form of a hawk over the dead body of her husband Osiris. Mithra was born spontaneously from a rock. Adonis, Attis, Dionysus, Jesus, Quetzalcoatl and many others were born of virgins. The hero, the gift-giver and the dying god live and have their being in higher consciousness, not in the lower realms of ego, competition and conflict. In the Gospel of John, when Nicodemus asks for Jesus’ advice, Jesus simply says, “you must be born from above.” In other words, each of us must shift from lower consciousness to the higher plane of God-consciousness within. The virgin birth signifies that each of us, at the level of our divine essence, was not born from the union of sperm and egg but are identical and unified with the eternally Real, what Krishna called “the unborn” and what Jesus called “everlasting life”. Shifting out of body and ego identification is the work of every spiritual tradition.

If the purpose of myth is to teach us how to live our own lives, then what have we learned?

In Buddhism the central metaphor is that of awakening from the sleep of ignorance, suffering and conditioning. In Christianity the central metaphor is death and rebirth, coming out of our animal nature with its instinctual drives of acquisition and conflict and rising into the unitive experience of God-consciousness, transcending all boundaries and limitations. Resurrection is transformation. Rebirth signifies death to the ego, to limitation, to space and time. Rising from the “grave” of our lower nature embodies the realization of awakening.

Beneath the crests and troughs of the ocean’s waves lies an immense stillness, a stillness that is both the source of the waves and their destination. Is it not true that we “die” every night? Were it not for sleep, this cyclical, recurring “death”, this immersion into the sea of unconsciousness, our life would cease. Just as the silence between notes makes music possible, so too the empty formlessness of the Void makes possible the vibrant fullness of our conscious, waking life. In the end, the inner and the outer are the same. The surface mirrors the depth. The tomb is a womb. Nirvana is samsara, and the kingdom of heaven is lying all around us, only we do not see it. Not only is there a correspondence, there is an identity. Life, in essence, is synonymous with the eternal Ground of Being, the Real, what we in the west call God, and as such it is ultimately untouched by death. “Death is not the opposite of life,” Eckhart Tolle writes in Stillness Speaks. “The opposite of death is birth. Life has no opposite.” Despite centuries of theological calcification it is still possible for us to exhume the universal spiritual wisdom of the Christian story, that each of us is the presence of God-consciousness in the field of forms. Only, as Buddha pointed out, we don’t know it. Like the sun breaking over the horizon at countless sunrise services throughout Christendom this Easter, we too are gradually dawning to the truth of our divine nature. Dare to say it out loud. Let your sun rise. Let the wisdom within you shape your thoughts and words and actions. Become, finally, who you really are. This is the hidden meaning of Easter and the Maypole

Pakal’s sarcophagus lid ( maya mythology)

Carved lid of the tomb of Kʼinich Janaab Pakal I in the Temple of the Inscriptions.

The large carved stone sarcophagus lid in the Temple of Inscriptions is a unique piece of Classic Maya art. Iconographically, however, it is closely related to the large wall panels of the temples of the Cross and the Foliated Cross centered on world trees. Around the edges of the lid is a band with cosmological signs, including those for sun, moon, and star, as well as the heads of six named noblemen of varying rank.[18] The central image is that of a cruciform world tree. Beneath Pakal is one of the heads of a celestial two-headed serpent viewed frontally. Both the king and the serpent head on which he seems to rest are framed by the open jaws of a funerary serpent, a common iconographic device for signalling entrance into, or residence in, the realm(s) of the dead. The king himself wears the attributes of the Tonsured maize god – in particular a turtle ornament on the breast – and is shown in a peculiar posture that may denote rebirth.[19] Interpretation of the lid has raised controversy. Linda Schele saw Pakal falling down the Milky Way into the southern horizon.

Germinate osiris:

 Beginning in Dynasty 18, beds were made on which soil was molded into the shape of the god of regeneration and ruler of the dead, Osiris. Thickly sown with grain and kept moist until the grain sprouted and grew, then left to dry again, these figures were created as part of a ritual carried out in association with the Osirian Festival of Khoiak. They magically expressed the concept of life springing from death, symbolizing the resurrection of Osiris. Some examples are also seen in tomb contexts, as the deceased was identified with this god.

In later periods, pottery Osiris bricks were most likely used during the Khoiak Festival as planters; this example was empty, but others contained soil mixed with cereal grains and linen. Here Osiris is shown in his typical form as a mummy, wearing the tall crown of Upper Egypt flanked by ostrich plumes. In his hands he holds the crook and flail of kingship. See : The Corn Osiris of Isis Oasis

Read also: OSIRIS & HUN HUNAHPU:  Corresponding Grain Gods of  Egypt and Mesoamerica

Many scholars suggest that Quetzalcoatl of Mesoamerica (also known as the Feathered Serpent), the Maya Maize God, and Jesus Christ could all be the same being. By looking at ancient Mayan writings such as the Popol Vuh, this theory is further explored and developed. These ancient writings include several stories that coincide with the stories of Jesus Christ in the Bible, such as the creation and the resurrection.

The symbol of the serpent has long been associated with deities of Mexico and Guatemala. In the Aztec language, the word “coatl” means serpent. By placing the Aztec word “quetzal” in front of the word “coatl” we have the word, “Quetzalcoatl”.  The word “quetzal” means feathers. A beautiful bird, native to Guatemala, carries the name quetzal. Quetzalcoatl, therefore, means, “feathered serpent,” or serpent with precious feathers. (See our web site for illustration} The word quetzal is the name of the coin in Guatemala and also is the national symbol of the country.

Throughout pre-Columbian Mexican history, scores of individuals, both mythological and real, were given the name or title of Quetzalcoatl. Attempts also have been made to attribute the name Quetzalcoatl to only one person. The following quotations are indicative of what is said about Quetzalcoatl

The role that both Quetzalcoatl and the Maize God played in bringing maize to humankind is comparable to Christ’s role in bringing the bread of life to humankind. Furthermore, Quetzalcoatl is said to have descended to the Underworld to perform a sacrifice strikingly similar to the atonement of Jesus Christ. These congruencies and others like them suggest that these three gods are, in fact, three representations of the same being. Read more here: Quetzalcoatl the Maya Maize God and Jesus Christ

In the sacred history of Meso-America, a Christ-like figure dominates the spiritual horizon. His name is Quetzalcoatl, which means the Plumed Serpent. Quetzalcoatl is one of the most ancient concepts of God in this region. He reconciles in himself heaven and earth. He is the creator of humankind and the giver of agriculture and the fine arts.

In the tenth century, a Toltec priest named Quetzalcoatl acquired a large following in the Valley of Mexico. He opposed both human sacrifice and warfare, promoting instead the arts and self-discipline as a means for coming closer to God. This made him many enemies among the ruling classes. They brought about his downfall, but he confounded them by rising from the dead, after being consumed in a sacred fire. His heart became the morning star, and he himself became young once again. He promised to return one day to his people.

The stories of Quetzalcoatl and Christ are so similar that it is easy to see one in the other. In this icon, both Quetzalcoatl and Christ are depicted in the same guise. It is a resurrection icon, with their heart ascending from the flames of death and rebirth. Around the edge, in gold leaf, is an ancient Aztec depiction of the Plumed Serpent. Red and black are the colors the Aztecs associated with the morning star.

Quetzalcoatl and Christ bring us the same timeless message: God is closer to us than we are to ourselves. In both their lives, our human condition has been joined inseparably to the divine. Each proclaims to us a simple gospel of compassion, and invites us to dance with God in the divine fire burning in each of our hearts.

TheDivine Substance alone is permanent and real. This view of the transcendent, supreme and substantial reality of the Absolute (which, according to the principle of verticality, is described in terms of its elevation orperfection in relation to creation) finds its expression in all religious traditions:

O Arjuna! There is nothing higher than Me; all is strung uponMe like pearls on a string.” (Bhagavad Gita, vii. 7);

8th-century illustration of Mount Kailash, depicting the holy family: Shiva and Parvati, cradling Skanda with Ganesha by Shiva’s side.

It may be considered the mother of the universe./I do not know its name; I call it Tao./If forced to give it a name, I shall call it Great.” (Tao-te-Ching xxv);

His greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm cxlv. 3);

In the world, inclusive of its gods, substance is seen in what is insubstantial. They are tied to their psychophysial beings and so they think that there is some substance, some reality in them. But whatever be the phenomenon through which they think of seeking their self-identity, it turns out to be transitory. It becomes false,for what lasts for a moment is deceptive. The state that is not deceptiveis Nirvana: that is what the men of worth know as being real. With this insight into reality their hunger ends: cessation, total calm.” (Sutta Nipata756-58);

All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blowsupon it…The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Godwill stand forever.” (Isaiah xl. 6-8);

Therefore you must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew, v. 48);

“Glory to God, the Lord of the Throne; high is He above what they attribute to Him!” (Qur’an,xxi. 22)

A Donkey’s Tail with Angel’s Wing

From Rumi’s World by Annemarie Schimmel

This is an impressive image by Rumi, for it portrays the human condition, the fact that the only creature with a certain amount of free will is situated between beast and angel, between the world of pure matter and that of pure spirit. If he follows his lower instincts, he will fall deeper than any animal, for the animals are constrained in their actions and have no choice. If, however, he purifies himself and develops his God-given spiritual qualities, he will reach a station higher than the angels, for angels, too, cannot act according to their own inclination; their role of constant worship and obedience is once and for all prescribed. Humans, however, have to wander along an extremely narrow path as they choose between good and evil, matter and spirit; they are, as Maulana says, like ducks, which belong to both water and earth; or else they are half honeybee, half snake, capable of producing both honey and venom.
Did not the angels cry out in horror when the Lord told them at the beginning of time that He would place a vice-regent on earth, whereupon they foresaw that the new creature would he “bloodshedding and ignorant” (Sura 2/31)?

But God knew better what He was planning, and so the angels had to prostrate themselves before the newly created Adam, who thus became masjud al-mala’ika, “the one before whom the angels fell down.” He was singled out by the Divine Word in the Koran: karamna, “We have honored the children of Adam” (Sura 17/70). Maulana reminds his listeners time and again of this Divine Word, and he sees the greatest danger to humanity in the risk of their forgetting the high position allotted to them by God. God “taught Adam the names” (Sura 2/32). Read more here….

From Rumi’s World by Annemarie Schimmel

Mythology of Easter: Resurrection

Passover is the Passing By Feast

On the Origin of Easter

The undeniable truth is that  for Christianity Jesus is the personification of the central sun of our solar system. Perceived from the northern hemisphere, and particularly from between the latitudes of the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, the celestial arc-shape path of our Light Bringer becomes in the fall each day a little smaller. But on (about) December 21, this daily shrinkage comes to stand still. In other words, the daily changing in the size of the Risen Savior’s arc has then stopped, or “died”. However, after three natural days, in which the nights lasted the longest of the year, this heavenly motion comes back to life again, starting with the sunrise on December 25. We celebrate this annual rebirth of Jesus with the Light Feast as a continuation of the Germanic Midwinter Festival.

As the Roman deceivers want this to be hidden from the uninitiated, they moved Jesus’ day of death from December 21st to “Good Friday”, that is, the Friday before Easter, which is today. Furthermore, they changed the meaning of this Passover to the resurrection of the Savior, which in reality occurs every year on December 25th.

Just like Christmas, also the Passover is originally a Germanic feast. As we celebrate during the Midwinter Feast our survival of the year’s darkest part, we celebrate during the Eostre Festival the fact that within a natural day the day time period has again become longer than the night time period. In other words, the light of the day has again overtaken or passed by the darkness of the night. The official version of the origin of the name “Passover” tries to fool us by pointing to the Hebrew word “Pesach”, but that is like putting the world upside down. In reality, the name “Passover” originates from the old Germanic verb for ‘passing by’. Somehow ‘passing by’ and ‘taking over’ merged into “Passover”. Another myth is that the name “Easter” is referring to the East. This is nonsense, as it is derived from the Old English “Eostre”. Actually, it is all quite straightforward, only by examining these names.

This (long) weekend, we celebrate the fact that the daily lighter period has taken over or passed by the nightly darker period. In other words, the entire period of natural day is again ruled by Light, and no longer by Darkness. We can also examine the way we still use the verb ‘pass’ in our contemporary language. For instance, we pass a deed. After this deed is passed, the previous owner passed it on to the following one. Similarly, we also pass a ball from the previous player to the next in various ball sports.

When we imagine a full year as a circle, then the straight lines that connect the starting points of opposing seasons form a cross within that circle. This is the true Cross of Jesus, as shown in the figure on the right-hand side. Opposite to the beginning of winter on (about) December 21st lies on this circle the beginning of summer on (about) June 21st. These two points are called ‘solstices’ from solstitium in Latin, literally meaning ‘solar standstill’. However, it is not the standing still of the Light Bringer, but the standstill of the daily growing (or shrinking) of its arc-like path. Likewise, opposite to the beginning of spring on (about) March 21st lies on this circle the beginning of autumn on (about) September 23rd. These two points are called equinoxes from aequinoctium in Latin, literally meaning ‘night getting even’ (with day). On these two days a year, the nocturnal darker period and the diurnal lighter period indeed get even.

Furthermore, in case you want to learn more about the original Germanic holidays, then study the Germanic Moon Calendar.

Resurrection and the Feminine Divine
The Christian holiday of Easter is the archetypal summit of the year, where rebirth and
resurrection are venerated in the mystery of Jesus Christ’s awakening from the tomb. In Christian orthodoxy, Easter is known as pascha, the Greek and Latin term referring to the Jewish Passover.
The Apostle Paul uses this word as a title for Christ, “For Christ our Passover lamb [pascha], has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5.7). By the end of the first century CE early Christians had reinterpreted the Exodus story and the Passover ritual as a prototype for the sacrifice of Christ.

The word “Easter” itself, however, is Old English, from Eastre or Eostre, a title derived from an old English month now known as April. Christian Easter is celebrated on the first Sabbath after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This holy-specific day most often occurs in April and is representative of the most fertile time of the year, when sun, moon, and earth are all in their phases of rebirth and awakening. Easter is therefore the day of resurrection, in heaven and on earth. And this heaven-earth relationship is only an archetypal symbol for the heaven-earth awakening that occurs in the soul of God, or in the spirit and breath of each mortal man and woman. In Christian rite and belief, every soul will arise like the sun, moon, and earth, to a new immortal dwelling.
Despite this traditional context, historically, Easter had feminine roots.  Significantly, the old English month of Eostre was itself named after a goddess whose rites of rebirth were celebrated at the same time among the early inhabitants of Britain and Northern Europe. Eostre was a Germanic goddess whose name is cognate with the Proto-Germanic austrôn, meaning dawn or to shine. This deity belongs to a long line of female divinities who are goddesses of the dawn, and are found in various forms throughout Indo-European cultures as beings who bring light and life to the world. For thousands of years before Christianity the divine being who brought forth resurrection was represented as a goddess. Inanna, Isis, Rhea, Cybele, and Demeter are beings with the divine stewardship over rebirth.

The Japanese Amaterasu is a goddess of the dawn who also brings light and life to the world. While these deities were seen as the powers behind the fertility of all things on earth, they also held stewardship over the mysterious cosmic principle of heavenly life. In the Greco-Roman mystery religions, the revitalization of the initiate was promised via the gifts and boons of the goddess. This should make sense as in fact it is only woman who can bring forth life from her womb. In many respects, the rites of rebirth analogized the tomb with the womb, so that those going into the beyond could be reborn by a Heavenly Mother whose womb was the cosmic precinct of immortality.

The Goddess in Prehistory
As far back as the Paleolithic Age,” writes Maarten J. Varmaseren, “one finds in the countries around the Mediterranean a goddess who is universally worshiped as the Mighty Mother” . From 30,000 to 10,000 BCE, adds Joseph Campbell, “the [Goddess] is represented in those now well-known little ‘Venus’ figurines” . A limestone relief found in southwestern France in the Pyrenees is illustrative in this regard. Dating to 25,000 BCE, an engraved Venus image is shown holding a bison horn inscribed with thirteen vertical strokes. This is the number of nights between the first crescent and the full moon .


The Goddess figure is holding her swollen belly with her other hand, suggesting that at this early date, the lunar and menstrual cycles were connected, and that the Goddess figure was symbolic of the whole archetypal complex of the feminine divine: life, birth, and death.


According to Joseph Campbell, the goddess has three functions:

“one, to give us life; two, to be the one who receives us in death; and three, to inspire our spiritual, poetic realization Read more here

Presenting the Path to the Maypole of Wisdom

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The Choice  – Y :

The Corona virus has taken a toll on all of us, especially those least able to retreat into their homes until the worst is over.

But, beyond the health and humanitarian measures urgently needed for those affected, it also offers a chance to right historical wrongs – the abuse of our earthly home and of marginalised societies, the very people who will suffer most from this pandemic. This viral outbreak is a sign that by going too far in exploiting the rest of nature, the dominant globalising culture has undone the planet’s capacity to sustain life and livelihoods. The unleashing of micro-organisms from their animal hosts means that they must latch on to other bodies for their own survival. Humans are a part of nature – and everything is connected to everything else.

The spiritual potential of quarantine

Being alone in quarantine, devoid of friends, family, co-workers and community, a person is truly lonely. Talking on the phone, messaging and even video chatting is no substitute for being in the physical presence of others. There is no replacement for the hug, kiss or even the handshake. Just having others around gives a person a sense of security and comfort. Quarantine forces a painful loneliness.

Yet the loneliness of companionship can also create an opportunity. The loneliness of others creates the solitude of the person with God. All alone, a person is able to commune with God as never before. God is eternally listening to our voices, and God awaits our prayers.

The silence of prayer/meditation provides a person the opportunity to connect to God on the deepest of levels. Without the pressures of work, a schedule or family chores, a person can turn to God, pour their heart out and deepen their relationship with the Creator. The gaping hole of spirituality left by the absence of ritual can be filled with a more unique connection to God.

Quarantine is a challenge previously unthought of by our Sages. It is lonely and depressing. Those feelings are natural and valid. All of us in quarantine are feeling them. But taken in the right way, it can provide time and opportunity to connect with God, rethink values and recommit to the priorities that are important to us.

The bivium of Pythagoras, this sign which leaves us free to choose the path of good or the path of evil.

“The letter” Y “represents the symbol of moral life. The question of good and evil arises before the free will of man: two roads open before him: the left, the thick branch of the “Y”, is wide and easy to access, but leads to the chasm from shame, that of the right, the thin branch, is a steep and painful path, but at the summit of which one finds repose in honor and glory. “

The Choice Y

Presenting the Website  Path to the Maypole of Wisdom:

  • Crisis of the modern world

Ego rules the world: Anti-“God”, Anti-“Humanity”, Anti-“Nature

Our civilization is in decay. Because we have blown-up our ego. Cosmic Balance has been disturbed. The Origin – Cosmic Womb/Vacuum – “doesn’t tolerate” this. With the help of Her two Cosmic Forces of “Death and Rebirth” (“Stirb und Werde” – “Die and Become”-J.W. von Goethe) She breaks down our ego-accumulations, thus restoring the Original Balance. Read More

  • Life out of Balance: the Qatsi trilogy

The Qatsi trilogy:

The Qatsi trilogy is the informal name given to a series of non-narrative films produced by Godfrey Reggio and scored by Philip Glass:

The titles of all three motion pictures are words from the Hopi language, in which the word qatsi translates to “life.” The series was produced by the Institute For Regional Education, who also created the Fund For Change

Qatsi Director Godfrey Reggio: We Are in the Cyborg State!

Naqoyqatsi is a Hopi word (more correctly written naqö̀yqatsi) meaning “life as war”. In the film’s closing credits, Naqoyqatsi is also translated as “civilized violence” and “a life of killing each other”.[4] While Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi examine modern life in industrial countries and the conflict between encroaching industrialization and traditional ways of life, using slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and natural landscapes, about eighty percent of Naqoyqatsi uses archive footage and stock images manipulated and processed digitally on non-linear editing (non-sequential) workstations and intercut with specially-produced computer-generated imagery to demonstrate society’s transition from a natural environment to a technology-based one. Reggio described the process as “virtual cinema”.

Thirty years after “Koyaanisqatsi,” Godfrey Reggio—with the support of Philip Glass and Jon Kane—once again leapfrogs over earthbound filmmakers and creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh in stunning black and white 4K digital projection, “Visitors” reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, “Visitors” takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves.

More info  here

  • Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times

The conference was introduced by HRH the Prince of Wales who, in a specially videotaped message recorded earlier at St. James’ Palace, spoke of the Sacred as the essential dimension of truth and therefore of understanding, and of the “crisis of perception” in the modern world:

We have lost our way because we can no longer see clearly. And so we have forgotten. A world of parts has replaced a world of wholeness. A world of separation has replaced a world of connectedness and entanglement. The secular has pushed aside the Sacred.” Read more here

  • Because Dante is Right

The incomparable greatness of the Divine Comedy shows itself not least in the fact that, in spite of the exceptionally wide range and variety of its influence—it even shaped the language of a nationits full meaning has seldom been understood.

At the time of the Renaissance, however, people did at least still debate as to whether Dante had actually seen Heaven and hell or not. At a later date, concern with the Divine Comedy dropped to the level of a purely scientific interest that busied itself with historical connections, or of an esthetic appreciation that no longer bothered about the spiritual sense of the work at all.

Thus, people fundamentally misunderstood the source upon which the poet drew for his work of creation, since the multiplicity of meaning in it is not the result of a preconceived mental construction grafted onto the actual poem; it arises directly and spontaneously out of a supra mental inspiration, which at one and the same time penetrates and shines through every level of the soul—the reason, as well as the imagination and the inward ear.

It is not “in spite of his philosophy” that Dante is a great poet; he is so thanks to his spiritual vision, and because through his art, however caught up in time it may be as regards its details, there shines forth a timeless truth, at once blissful and terrifying—in short, it is because Dante is right. Read more

  • Goethe , the “refugee”

Zelige Sehnsucht Blessed Longing, Goethe

In the begin of “Modernity”, Goethe warns us in his poem Zelige Sehnsucht Blessed Longing

Tell no one else, only the wise
For the crowd will sneer at one
I wish to praise what is fully alive,
What longs to flame toward death.

When the calm enfolds the love-nights
That created you, where you have created
A feeling from the Unknown steals over you
While the tranquil candle burns.

You remain no longer caught
In the peneumbral gloom
You are stirred and new, you desire
To soar to higher creativity.

No distance makes you ambivalent.
You come on wings, enchanted
In such hunger for light, you
Become the butterfly burnt to nothing.

So long as you have not lived this:
To die is to become new,
You remain a gloomy guest
On the dark earth.

It is the story of moth and the candle, found first in the Kitáb at-tawasin of the martyr mystic al-HalIáj (d. 922) and then taken over by the poets of Iran and Turkey, that forms the bridge between the poezie worlds of Iran and Germany. Goethe found it in a translation of Persian verses and transformed it into one of the most profound poerns in the German language, Zelige Sehnsucht (Blessed Longing). “Stirb und werde,,‘ “Die and become,” is Goethe’s advice to the reader in this poem, and this idea of dying and being reborn on ever rising levels of existence permeates large parts of classical Persian poetry. It is the song of the never-ending quest, the fulfillment of Love through suffering and deathi expressed in images of the journey through rnountains and deserts to end only in paradise, as Goethe says at the end of the Book of Paradise in the West-Ostlicher Divan:

Bis im Anschaun ew’ger Liebe

wir verschweben, wsr verschwinden . .

Contemplating Love eternal

we float higher and dissolve .

This poem is an example of the “helplessness that sometimes accompanies love.” He offers it as an example of the way passion causes us to surrender our “common sense, rationality and normal serious reserve;” to awaken to the creative energies, the desires and longing emmanating from the heart.

This awakening is the threshold of “salvation.” To make the realization that you are part of something so vast and lovely, it transcends form and time is like falling in love. It IS falling in love…it is seeing “sameness,” recognizing yourself in the other – realizing that you are One with the Other, falling into the universal mystery that is the Love of God! Love is the nature of this cosmic Spirit-relationship. Love is all there is. Love is who you are, where you came from, how you are to live, and that to which you will return. Read More here

  • Maypole

The maypole is a symbol of the Tree of Life and by extension the Tree.  It is cut and used in celebrations in early Spring when plant life is just starting to become abundant again, in effect when life is regenerating. The custom is to be found from Scotland and Sweden to the Pyrenees and Slav countries.

The time when the maypole is brought in depends on the place because, being symbolic of new life, it is cut when life is at its most regenerative.  Spring occurs in different months in different parts of the world, so in the UK and Saxony, for example, it is generally cut on the  1st May; in the Vosges it is the first Sunday of May;  in Sweden it is the Summer solstice. Read more here

  • Traditionalism and Folklore

By “folklore” we mean that whole and consistent body of culture which has been handed down, not in books but by word of mouth and in practice, from time beyond the reach of historical research, in the form of legends, fairy tales, ballads, games, toys,crafts, medicine, agriculture, and other rites, and forms of organization, especially those we call tribal.

This is a cultural complex independent of national and even racial boundaries, and of remarkable similarity throughout the world. . . . The content of folklore is metaphysical.

Our failure to recognize this is primarily due to our own abysmal ignorance of metaphysics and of doctrines are received by the people and transmitted by them.

 In its popular form, a given doctrine may not always have been understood, but so long as the formula is faithfully transmitted it remains understandable;

“superstitions,” for the most part, are no mere delusions, but formulae of which the meaning has been forgotten. . . . We are dealing with the relics of an ancient folk metaphysics its technical terms. . . . Folklore ideas are the form in which metaphysical wisdom, as valid now as it ever was. . . . We shall only be able to understand the astounding uniformity of the folklore motifs all over the world, and the devoted care that has everywhere been taken to ensure their correct transmission, if we approach these mysteries (for they are nothing less) in the spirit in which they have been transmitted (“from the Stone Age until now”) with the confidence of little children, indeed, but not the childish self-confidence of those who hold that wisdom was born with themselves. Read more here

  • A lifelong pilgrimage: The Mirror of Jheronimus bosch

Bosch makes art personal, on different levels, and thatmakes him modern. He was one of the first artists in the Low Countries to sign his paintings: ‘Jheronimus bosch’. It was plainly important to him that the works he left behind should be traceable to him. The Haywain (cat. 5) too was signed with his standard signature, affixed like a stamp to the bottom right of the central panel. Bosch also made his art personal, however, for those who look at it. The Haywain is so famous nowadays that it is hard to imagine that when he created it no other painting existed with this subject matter or anything remotely resembling it. We do not know of a single visual precursor for either the Haywain or the Wayfarer. Bosch created an image here that is entirely contemporary – hypermodern art from around 1510–15. Despite their moralizing content, the Haywain and the Wayfarer are not dogmatic paintings; they hold up a mirror to their viewers, to teach them to see themselves better. It was important to Bosch to make his viewers aware of how they bumble their way through life, longing for earthly things. He offered them a personal, exploratory way to realize that if they were to avoid hell and damnation they needed to turn to the good. It is also an important shift in emphasis in the approach to the question of what it means to be a good Christian. Bosch’s work is closely related in this respect to the message of the Devotio Moderna. Read more here

  • Viriditas: the greening power of the Divine – Hildegard of Bingen

Let your eye live and grow in God,
and your soul will never shrivel.
You can count on it to keep you alive . . . awake . . . tender.
—Hildegard, Letter to Archbishop Arnold of Mainz

Humanity, take a good look at yourself.
Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation.
You’re a world—everything is hidden in you.
—Hildegard, Causes and Cures

When a person does something wrong and the soul realizes this, the
deed is like poison in the soul. Conversely, a good deed is as sweet
to the soul as delicious food is to the body. The soul circulates
through the body like sap through a tree, maturing a person the
way sap helps a tree turn green and grow flowers and fruit.
—Hildegard, Scivias

Don’t let yourself forget that God’s grace rewards not only those
who never slip, but also those who bend and fall. So sing! The
song of rejoicing softens hard hearts. It makes tears of godly sorrow
flow from them. Singing summons the Holy Spirit. Happy praises
offered in simplicity and love lead the faithful to complete harmony,
without discord. Don’t stop singing.
—Hildegard, Scivias

Read more about Viriditas: the greening power of the Divine – Hildegard of Bingen

  • The Noble Colloquy between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil

This article aims to explore a profound ethical challenge confronting heterogeneous, multi-denominational, and ethnically variegated societies as they confront modernity, seek bonding capital, and come to terms with their own diversity. It does so by deconstructing the dialogue between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil in 1219. That striking colloquy provides intriguing insights on a wide range of issues, including celebrating transculturalism in the spirit of convivencia, advocating for mutual respect, and emboldening humanitarianism. Even more remarkably, this exchange occurred when the crusades were raging – at the apex of intense hostility between Muslim and Christian communities. At that time, Pope Honorius III demanded that crusaders, from far and wide, eradicate “evil” Muslims and liberate Jerusalem. Yet, despite that, St. Francis was eager to go among the Muslims, and eventually, met with Sultan al-Kāmil. The sultan, as Fareed Munir writes, was peace-loving, sagacious and a “man of honor,” indeed, no less magnanimous and courageous than Francis. The hospitality he showed to Francis, by hosting and attentively listening to him for nearly three weeks, is profound. Ultimately, that experience changed both men, and presumably others present. See: St Francis and the Sufi,

also Sultan Malik al Kamil and St Francis

and Umar Ibn al-Farid the Great Poet

  • Discerning Wisdom from Folly with Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues is   needed in our times. And the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder can help us to find an answer. Read more

  • PETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER AND ESOTERIC TRADITION

By Sir Richard Temple at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

The late paintings of Peter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 – 1569) are full of symbolism and allegory whose meaning has been widely and differently interpreted. Some see Bruegel as a gifted, humorous peasant, others as a satirist and political commentator and yet others as a Renaissance humanist and mystic. There is no consensus on the significance of the paintings and hardly any documents to help the historian.

This thesis considers Neoplatonic humanist ideas at the heart of the Renaissance in Italy and in Flanders in the 16th century, relating them to the historical continuum known as the Perennial Philosophy. This concept is little understood today and this work traces its history and demonstrates that it was widely, if not universally, accepted in the Hellenistic era and in the Renaissance.

It also considers the tradition of religious mysticism in Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders throughout the late Middle Ages that led up to the Reformation and points out that this movement is also an expression of the Perennial Philosophy, citing the works of Meister Eckhart, the Rhineland mystics and the schools that came out of the Devotio Moderna.

The work considers the esoteric, ‘heretical’ school called the Family of Love that claimed among its adherents a number of highly illustrious artists, thinkers and politicians. Such men as Christoffe Plantin, Abraham Ortelius and Justus Lipsius spurned the religious turmoil of the period and rejected Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists alike in favour of an inner mystical state they called the ‘invisible church’. They were close to Bruegel, bought his paintings and, it cannot be doubted, shared his thought.

While there are no surviving documents to prove Bruegel’s personal connection with the Familists, the weight of circumstantial evidence, especially when seen in the context of the Perennial Philosophy, is compelling. However, it is the paintings themselves that open comprehensively and convincingly to an esoteric interpretation – once one has the key that unlocks their meaning. This thesis provides that key and leads the reader through an analysis of seven of Bruegel’s last paintings.

The Introduction consists of two sections; the first summarises the discoveries and
opinions of scholars and art historians during the last seventy years and their differing
and often incompatible views as to Bruegel‟s religious and social status and the
significance of his art. The second section analyses in some detail his painting The
Numbering at Bethlehem along the line of esoteric ideas and symbolism that will be
developed throughout the whole work .

The form of the ideas of this thesis could be illustrated by a picture of three concentric circles of which the outer would be the Perennial Philosophy – what Renaissance thinkers regarded as the body of truth drawn by the ancients from their knowledge of the cosmos  and which, like the universe, has no external boundary. In writing about the Perennial  Philosophy I have cited Plato and Hellenistic and Renaissance Neoplatonists as well as writers of the 20th-century, among whom are Ananda Coomaraswamy and René Guénon  and writers associated with their ideas; I have also quoted the theosophist W. Thackara.
Within this is the second circle containing aspects of the Perennial Philosophy that found expression in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods and which culminated in Antwerp in the 16th-century. What may at first appear to be diverse influences are drawn from Renaissance „paganism‟, the mysticism of Meister Eckhart and his followers as well as „gnostic‟ or „heretical‟ schools such as the Adamites with whom Hieronymus Bosch was associated. At the centre of all this – in the innermost circle – is Bruegel or, rather,  his paintings, for the man himself is more or less silent and invisible. Yet the testimony of the later paintings is like a kernel containing the wisdom of the Perennial Philosophy.
The paintings are there for all to see and yet their colours, forms and narratives are a veil
– albeit a veil of great beauty – that covers a high order of knowledge. They are,
therefore, esoteric.

In fact the form of the ideas set out here is necessarily linear but we can remind ourselves that the right to speak of the ultimate truths of Man and the universe was regarded in the 16th-century as traditionally belonging to the realm of prophets, poets, mystics and artists.
Such men spoke in multi-layered symbols and their vision is not limited to mens and
ratio only. Read more Here

  • To See Yourself within It: Bruegel’s Festival of Fools by Todd Marlin Richardson

Bruegel’s Festival of Fools

The topics of blindness and self-awareness I discussed in relation to the
Peasant and Nest Robber bring me to the focus of my fourth and final chapter,
Bruegel’s Festival of Fools . In addition, the practices of making and viewing
works of art I have described for all of Bruegel’s later peasant paintings are also
helpful in thinking about this particular design. Nadine Orenstein argues for a late
dating of the print, after the now lost drawing by Bruegel, based on the words Aux
quatre Vents inscribed at the bottom center. This is the form of the publisher’s address
used by the widow of the print’s publisher, Hieronymus Cock, following his death in
1570. Orenstein speculates the drawing was completed in the last years of Bruegel’s
life, during the same time he painted the peasant panels, and the print produced after
his death.

Although fairly subtle, the composition of the Festival of Fools stages a
procession similar to a wagon play. (Wagon plays were processional dramas that took place during Ommegangen (devotional processions) in the 1550s and 1560s. Rhetoricians conceived of wagon plays as didactic episodes that could morally
edify and educate their audience. The plays utilized overt metaphors and personifications to create allegorical productions that focused on collective civic identity.

The crowd of lively characters enters from the left, beneath the trellised pergolas, and processes to the right, before dancing hand-in-hand and meandering their way into the background where the musicians provide music. The right side of the building through which they process is a gallery for viewing. On the far left side, two men support a makeshift carriage, made just visible by the handle they carry, which bears a bald-headed fool above their shoulders holding a ball before his gaze.

At first sight, the collection of figures seems to be rather chaotically constructed; they engage in acrobatic manoeuvres, heads swivelled awkwardly on bodies and bodies piled on top of one another. In the foreground, multiple fools play a bowling game, while in the background people on a platform strum or bang various instruments. The figures are in full costume with hood and bells; they dance, exhibit bawdy gestures and participate in proverbial activities, examples of which I will discuss shortly. All of this is mentioned in the accompanying text below the image.

The text reads, in translation, “You sottebollen (numbskulls), who are
plagued with foolishness, / Come to the green if you want to go bowling, / Although one has lost his honor and another his money, / The world values the greatest sottebollen. // Sottebollen are found in all nations, / Even if they do not wear a fool’s cap on their heads. / They have such grace in dancing that their foolish heads spin like tops. // The filthiest sottebollen shit everything away, / Then there are those who take others by the nose. / Some sell trumpets and the others spectacles / With which they deceive many nitwits. // Yet there are sottebollen who behave themselves wisely, / And taste the true sense of ‘tSottebollen (numbskulling) / Because they [who] enjoy folly in
themselves / Shall best hit the pin with their sottebollen.Read more

  •  Green Man, May Day and May Pole

Mythology of May Day

First we talk  about the Goddess who lies behind May Day; second will be about the bonfires of May Day Eve and third  the mythology and rituals behind the Maypole.

Since May 1 lies about halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, it was considered a good time to mark the transition into summer. Indeed, in most of medieval northern Europe (meaning the Celtic calendar), May 1 was the beginning of summer. By then the seeds for crops had just been sown (so farmers and their laborers could take a short break), and it was time to drive cattle and sheep out to their summer pastures. Both the sprouting crops and the soon-to-be pastured cattle needed divine protection from the dangers of the natural and supernatural worlds, which is why May Day developed as a holiday and took on the associated rituals and mythology that it did. And a goddess was a good figure to deal with such human concerns. Read more here

  • Proclaiming St George’Day ( 23rd of April): A Day of “uprightness”, and a day of remembering, sharing and of coming together, organizing “Convivium” or Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”

Asking St George his Intercession, protection and patronage for the project:

The saint was then beheaded on April 23, 303. And his feast day is still celebrated all over the world! 1717 years later, in the Year 2020 we ask you to pray :

The Prayer to Saint George directly refers to the courage it took for the saint to confess his Belief before opposing authority:

Prayers of Intercession to Saint George:

Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit.

Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.

O God! You are the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, You are the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no deity other thanYou. You are the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear.  We ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, for truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous. ( From the Prayer on  Bara’a Night )

Read more here: Forum for Ethics, Virtues and Uprightness

look here Celebrations of St George’s Say all over the world  

and the Patronages of Saint George all over the world

  • St George and Al kidhr

At first sight there seems to be little connection between Elijah, George and Khidr, apart from the fact that in the Middle East they are frequently associated with the same place by different religious traditions. Is it then a simple case of overlapping traditions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, all of whom focus on the Holy Land as part of their own heritage and take Abraham as their forefather?

Certainly there is a view which suggests that Khidr is to Muslims what Elijah is to Jews, in respect of them both acting as initiator to the true believer, and which in itself is testimony to attempts to find common ground between the three traditions.

Then there is the ancient theme of the spiritual side of man being dominant over the material, as suggested in the stories by the holy rider on a chariot or horse (or in the case of Khidr, a fish).

This is a clear picture of the divinised human, who comes to deliver mankind:

Elijah is zealous for God and the destroyer of false prophets, while St George is the conqueror of animality in the form of the dragon; Khidr’s role is rather less vividly martial – he brings real self-knowledge, delivering the individual from the false and base nature of the soul.

In all three cases one can remark the polarity of the monotheist or true believer and the pagan or ignorant: Elijah and the prophets of Baal, St George and the emperor Diocletian, for example  and perhaps most strikingly in this respect, Khidr who points out the interior meaning of this opposition and is thus the educator of Moses.

However, we should note significant differences in their status, which in part reflect the religious context in which they appear: Elijah is a prophet, in a long line of prophecy; St George is a saint, martyred for his faith in the tradition of Christianity; Khidr, however, is almost a nobody – he is neither saint nor prophet, but an ordinary person graced with immortality and initiatic significance. While the first two are usually portrayed as mounted, Khidr has his feet upon the ground (or just above it in some stories) or walks on water; as we shall see, he has a most particular role to play in mystical teaching. Read more here

  • The Allegory of Good and Bad Government

The “Allegory of Good and Bad Government” is a series of fresco paintings executed by Ambrogio Lorenzetti which are located in the Salon of Nine (or Council Room) in the Town Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) of the city of Siena. This famous cycle of pre-Renaissance painting is made up of six different scenes: Allegory of Good Government; Allegory of Bad Government; Effects of Bad Government in the City; Effects of Good Government in the City; Effects of Bad Government in the Country; and Effects of Good Government in the Country. Commissioned by the Council of Nine (the city council) and designed as a sort of political warning, aimed at members of the Council (drawn from Siena’s ruling families), to reduce corruption and misrule, these mural paintings offer a pictorial contrast between the peace and prosperity of honest rule, versus the decay and ruin caused by tyranny. Read more here

  • Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”

Looking to the Spiritual vertical way, as the Maypole do, gives us an opportunity of discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues,  needed in our times.

We need to be sincere with our selves , to be “upright” strictly honourable and  honest, as the symbol of the Maypole is. Together we can initiate and erect a maypole as various European folk festivals do, in respect of the safely coming of Spring. But as many Folklores in Europe did, to keep it more permantly,  we can plant a Lime Tree in the center of the village of on squares in the city, to keep the remenbering of  “uprightness”,of sincerity in our mind, in our heart and in our everyday lives.

See  planting  The Dance Lime Tree project 

In this way,as  in many folklores of Europe, they recognize their dependance to Nature and their submission to something Higher than themselves. And happy they danced under the Lime Tree on important opportunities.  Man has always be in need of a symbol, but certainly a symbol for communality and fraternity.

The Lime Tree  can become again a beautiful symbol of Fraternity, and also draw strength together to face the future and a place of remembering, sharing and of coming together.  Than Maybe, this message from the Past can help us  to be able  to rediscover  the meaning of  the Eternal Spring. Or as Hildegard of Bingen call it The Greenness ( Viriditas) of our soul

The Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”  will realize a meeting place for everybody, and for all the cultures, traditions and religions. Inviting everybody to share their knowlegde and wisdom. It will be functioning as a bridge between cultures, spiritual knowledge, folklores, art and wisdom from our interconnected world. But the project is also the intention to plan the Lime Tree of Wisdom in our heart using pollarding and pruning to make our tree stronger,  with pofound roots of “uprightness”, sincerity, love and wisdom . See more about Forum for Ethics, Virtues  and Uprightness

There is still more to come….

Maypole of Wisdom  is a project of  website Sufi Path of Love

Mythology, Legends and Fairy Tale of Friesland

Mythology, Legends and Fairy Tale of Friesland

On the Dutch Wadden Islands: Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, many ancient customs can still be found, corresponding to those of the Scandinavian countries, belonging to the ancient cultural heritage of the North Sea peoples.

Texel is the island, where the tex (text) of the laws in Runes was written on the walls. These laws were given by the first folk mother: Frya (Freya), the primeval mother of the Frisians.

Afterwards, ideas and agreements that had been circulating for a century with the Kroder/ Krodo (the Time) and his Yule (wheel, rad) were allowed to be written on the walls of the castle by common agreement. Then they had to be honored.

Krodo:

wheel: Like the cycle of the sun and the infinity of the Universe in time and space
wind the breath or breath of this world, everything here keeps alive
Basket with red roses the symbol for fertility, nature and the environment worth
fish: The element of water, food and the later Christian values of our society

Wheel of the year :

Frya was white as snow in the dawn, and the blue of her eyes was fairer than that of the rainbow, Like the rays of the noonday sun, her hair, fine as cobwebs, shone. Her food was honey, and her drink was the dew of flowers.

The first thing she taught her children was self-discipline. The next was love to virtue – Once they were adults, she taught them the value of freedom. For, said she, without liberty all virtues are only good to enslave you, your descent to eternal shame.

When she had raised her children to the seventh generation, she called them all to Flyland (Vlieland). There she poured their hair tex. Then she ascended to heaven and became the evening and morning star. (venus) .

——————————————————-

Note:

The Goddess in Prehistory
“As far back as the Paleolithic Age,” writes Maarten J. Varmaseren, “one finds in the countries around the Mediterranean a goddess who is universally worshiped as the Mighty Mother” . From 30,000 to 10,000 BCE, adds Joseph Campbell, “the [Goddess] is represented in those now well-known little ‘Venus’ figurines” . A limestone relief found in southwestern France in the Pyrenees is illustrative in this regard. Dating to 25,000 BCE, an engraved Venus image is shown holding a bison horn inscribed with thirteen vertical strokes. This is the number of nights between the first crescent and the full moon .


The Goddess figure is holding her swollen belly with her other hand, suggesting that at this early date, the lunar and menstrual cycles were connected, and that the Goddess figure was symbolic of the whole archetypal complex of the feminine divine: life, birth, and death.


According to Joseph Campbell, the goddess has three functions:

“one, to give us life; two, to be the one who receives us in death; and three, to inspire our spiritual, poetic realization

All three of these functions can be seen in the prehistoric art of Çatal Hüyük.

On a green schist stone dating to about 6000 BCE, the goddess is portrayed “back-to-back with herself, on the left embracing an adult male, and on the right holding a child in her arms”.


The powers of the Mighty Mother are the transformations of life: “She is the transforming medium that transforms semen into life. She receives the seed of the past and, through the miracle of her body, transmutes it into the life of the future” . Her womb is the ultimate matrix of metamorphosis, a cosmic umbilicus whose power derives from the heavenly antipodes between which all material creation was forged: “The Goddess is the axis mundi, the world axis, the pillar of the universe. She represents the energy that supports the whole cycle of the universe” . Perhaps for this reason the Mother Goddess was most often worshiped in caves . The subterranean chamber was the anagogical medium that connected the wombs of heaven and earth.

This heaven-earth correspondence is a very important point to make. By the second millennium BCE the Mother Goddess was a nature deity represented as Mother Earth. Her womb was the land that produced the seed of bounty, and she was associated with the fertilization and growth of life from the dark soil. Her shrines were in groves and caves representative of this chthonic source of life. Yet the chthonic feature of the Goddess was only half of the symbolic heritage. The Goddess was, above all, the Heavenly Mother, the Queen of Heaven, and Cosmocrator of the World. Her chthonic womb was only the root of the heavenly tree.

In Sumerian, the glyph for heaven, An, also meant “crown of tree” . The female date palm grew numerous branches holding massive clusters of dates. This image was analogous to the whole of creation, where the tree was symbolic of the universe, both in form and function.
The roots, trunk, branches, and fruit were images of the underworld, material world, and heavenly world where life originated. The date laden branches of the palm tree were an image of the stars in the sky that produced light and life. The glyph An meant heaven and crown of tree because, analogically, they were the exact same thing.

In religions and myths throughout the Near East and Mediterranean, the Goddess was analogized with the Heavenly Tree. While the roots of this cosmic tree were the chthonic womb of the Mother Goddess, the “crown of tree” represented her seat of power. It was her heavenly womb that was the lapis occultus, the heavenly vault of the mysteries from which all life
descended. So it is that “the date palm represents the celestial mother goddess nurturing her abundant harvest of children in the high heavens” , and that “the seed of mankind is the light of the stars. This is the seed that the mother of humanity gestates in her heavenly womb” .

The Scythian diviners take also the leaf of the lime-tree (linden), which, dividing into three parts, they twine round their fingers; they then unbind it and exercise the art to which they pretend. Herodotus

In mythology, the linden tree is a symbol of peace, truth and justice. This connection is from Germanic mythology where the linden tree is associated with Freyja, the motherly goddess of truth and love.

According to German folklore, it was not possible to lie while standing under a linden tree. Consequently, Germans often met under linden trees not only to dance and celebrate, but also to hold their judicial proceedings. Christianity later replaced Freyja with the Madonna and rededicated the trees to Mary, the mother of God.

Freyja and the linden tree: Gerichtslinde


See symbolism of Linden tree

When she ascended to heaven and became the evening and morning star. (venus) With it came a great tidal wave, which overflowed Flyland, but Frya’s descendants had built a high wharf, on which they built the fortress, upon the walls of which they wrote the tex. They called that land Texland. It will remain as long as Irtha is Irtha! (Irtha is the name of the earth). Whenever a new castle could be built somewhere, its lamp had to be lit at Texland’s.

The Mother on Texland chooses her successor and may have twenty-one girls and seven spindle girls, so that seven always keep watch at the lamp . The supreme being Wralda (read ‘Uralda’, that is ‘Overoude’ after the Frisian wráld, ‘world’, and did, ‘old’) created three primeval mothers who in turn produced three races.

This WAS INSCRIBED UPON THE WALLS OF FRYASBURG IN TEXLAND, AS WELL AS AT
STAVIA AND MEDEASBLIK.
It was Frya’s day, and seven times seven years had lapsed since Festa was appointed Volksmoeder by the desire of Frya. The citadel of Medeasblik was ready, and a Burgtmaagd was chosen. Festa was about to light her new lamp, and when she had done so in the presence of all the people, Frya called from her watch-star, so that every one could hear it: “Festa, take your style and write the things, that I may not speak.” Festa did as she was bid, and thus we became Frya’s children, and our earliest history began.
This is our earliest history

Wr-alda, who alone is eternal and good, made the beginning. Then commenced time. Time wrought all things, even the earth. The earth bore grass, herbs, and trees, all useful and all noxious animals. All that is good and useful she brought forth by day, and all that is bad and
injurious by night.
After the twelfth Juulfeest she brought forth three maidens:—
Lyda out of fierce heat.
Finda out of strong heat.
Frya out of moderate heat
.
When the last came into existence, Wr-alda breathed his spirit upon her in order that men might be bound to him.
As soon as they were full grown they took pleasure and delight in the visions of Wr-alda.
Hatred found its way among them

They each bore twelve sons and twelve daughters—at ery Juul-time a couple. Thence come all mankind.

Lyda was black, with hair curled like a lamb’s; her eyes shone like stars, and shot out glances like those of a bird of prey.

Finda was yellow, and her hair was like the mane of a horse. She could not bend a tree, but where Lyda killed one lion she killed ten.

Frya was white like the snow at sunrise, and the blue of her eyes vied with the rainbow.
Beautiful Frya! Like the rays of the sun shone the locks of her hair, which were as fine as spiders’ webs.
Clever Frya! When she opened her lips the birds ceased to sing and the leaves to quiver.
Powerful Frya! At the glance of her eye the lion lay down at her feet and the adder withheld his poison.
Pure Frya! Her food was honey, and her beverage was dew gathered from the cups of the flowers.
Sensible Frya! The first lesson that she taught her children was self-control, and the second was the love of virtue; and when they were grown she taught them the value of iberty; for she said, “Without liberty all other virtues erve to make you slaves, and to disgrace your origin.”
Generous Frya! She never allowed metal to be dug from the earth for her own benefit, but when she did it it was for the general use.
Most happy Frya! Like the starry host in the firmament, her children clustered around her.

FRYA’S TEX.
Prosperity awaits the free. At last they shall see me again. Though him only can I recognise as free who is neither a slave to another nor to himself. This is my counsel:—

  1. When in dire distress, and when mental and physical energy avail nothing, then have recourse to the spirit of Wr-alda; but do not appeal to him before you have tried all other means, for I tell you beforehand, and time will prove its truth, that those who give way to discouragement
    sink under their burdens.
  2. To Wr-alda’s spirit only shall you bend the knee in gratitude—thricefold—for what you have received, for what you do receive, and for the hope of aid in time of need.
  3. You have seen how speedily I have come to your assistance. Do likewise to your neighbour, but wait not for his entreaties. The suffering would curse you, my maidens would erase your name from the book, and I would regard you as a stranger.
  4. Let not your neighbour express his thanks to you on bended knee, which is only due to Wr-alda’s spirit. Envy would assail you, Wisdom would ridicule you, and my maidens would accuse you of irreverence.
  5. Four things are given for your enjoyment —air, water, land, and fire—but Wr-alda is the sole possessor of them. Therefore my counsel to you is, choose upright men who w ll fairly divide the labour and the fruits, so that no man shall be exempt from work or from the duty of defence.
  6. ….Read more here The oera linda book


The supreme being Wralda (read ‘Uralda’, that is ‘Overoude’ after the Frisian wráld, ‘world’, and did, ‘old’) created three primeval mothers who in turn produced three races.

Lyda’s children lived in Africa and had neither reason nor morals.

Finda’s children lived in Asia and Aldland or Atland (‘Oudland’, Atlantis) and possessed intellect but no morals.

Frya’s children, after all, inhabited Europe and, you guessed it, had both good sense and high morals.

The Lydas and Findas waged endless wars and were ruled despotically. The devising and enforcing of religious doctrines and the appointment of priests effectively suppressed any desire for spiritual freedom.

How different it was with the Frya’s. These lived in peace and had a high civilization without priests and churches. The Fryas excelled in self-control and love of virtue and realized that life without freedom is meaningless. This good state of affairs was guarded by ‘mothers of the people’ who kept the lamp of wisdom burning in special fortresses.

The most important people’s mother, the ‘Mother of Honor’, resided in the main castle on Texland (Texel), named after ‘Frya’s ter’, a kind of constitution, which was chiseled onto the walls there. Frya controlled the whole of Friesland (Friesland, East and West) and as grandmother a large part of the mainland of Western Europe, including the Rhine banks, but beyond that the whole with dense forests of Twiskland (Germany) extended. By morning (the East) her empire bordered on the Baltic Sea, with settlements in Denmark, yielding tar, pitch, and copper. Britain yielded tin, but was otherwise the domain of the exiles, who had left with their folk-mother to preserve their lives, after being marked on the forehead with a red B, and of the criminals, who received a green B. To the south, Frya’s ships sailed as far as Libya to trade with the descendants of the black Lyda. At first there were no warriors, for peace and prosperity reigned throughout Frya’s realm when the remaining inhabitants of Aldland fled south. They were descendants of the yellow Finda, in which we recognize the Turanians, who also inhabited Siberia. They robbed and were regarded as unreliable, no Fryas (Frisian) was allowed to mix with them. To repel them, warriors were trained, and leaders, including a king, were chosen. This king was not allowed to reign for more than three consecutive years. At that time, solemn recruitments of warriors took place, with vows being made as the drinking horn was passed around.

There was once a monastery of near (grey) monks on Schiermonnikoog.

Perhaps on the foundations of a troja fortress of a popular mother. We are already close to the holy land: Heligoland. Every year on Pentecost, an ancient ritual is celebrated here: the Kallemooi.

A live rooster as a solar symbol is hoisted high in a basket on a maypole. It is the midsummer rite of a grateful veneration of the Sun Maiden. However bastardized and misunderstood, man acts out of his unconscious sympathetic to the Great Rhythm and thereby the customs maintain themselves through thick and thin, against ridicule and prohibition. See maypole Tradition en Green Man, May Day and May Pole

It is clear that the population of the Wadden Islands belongs, and already belonged during Atlantis, to the Northern or thinking pole of that empire, to the people group of white skin color and strong I-consciousness, that independence, helping oneself and letting each other go above all else. stated, The ‘Oera Linda Book’ tells how much they disliked the ‘Finda peoples’ from the East, who did not come into direct personal contact with god, but lived slavishly under the influence of sorcerers and priests. The primordial history of Dutch Atlantis, which was written in runes on the walls of the troja fortresses, begins thus:

Wralda is the most ancient, for it created all things. Wralda is all in all, eternal and infinite, present everywhere, but invisible. What we see. are the forms which come forth from his life and perish therein. From Wralda come beginning and end. Wralda is the One and Almighty being, from which all power comes and into which it vanishes. Wralda lays the eternal laws in all created things. Wralda not all things and for It all is open. Wralda created both men and women. Wralda alone is good and unchanging. Our stature, qualities and soul change, but within us is part of Wralda’s immutability. We, Fryar’s children, are apparitions through Wralda’s life, ever becoming and approaching perfection’.

UNIVERSAL LAW:

1. All free-born men are equal, wherefore they must all have equal rights on sea and land, and on all that Wr-alda has given. 2. Every man may seek the wife of his choice, and every woman may bestow her hand on him whom she loves. 3. When a man takes a wife, a house and yard must be given to him. If there is none, one must be built for him. 4. If he has taken a wife in another village, and wishes to remain, they must give him a house there, and likewise the free use of the common. 5. To every man must be given a piece of land behind his house. No man shall have land in front of his house, still less an enclosure, unless he has performed some public service. In such a case it may be given, and the youngest son may inherit it, but after him it returns to the community. 6. Every village shall possess a common for the general good, and the chief of the village shall take care that it is kept in good order, so that posterity shall find it uninjured. 7. Every village shall have a market-place. All the rest of the land shall be for tillage and forest. No one shall fell trees without the consent of the community, or without the knowledge of the forester; for the forests are general property, and no man can appropriate them. 8. The market charges shall not exceed one-twelfth of the value of the goods either to natives or strangers. The portion taken for the charges shall not be sold before the other goods. 9. All the market receipts must be divided yearly into a hundred parts three days before the Juul-day. 10. The Grevetman and his council shall take twenty parts; the keeper of the market ten, and his assistants five; the Volksmoeder one, the midwife four, the village ten, and the poor and infirm shall have fifty parts. 11. There shall be no usurers in the market. If any should come, it will be the duty of the maidens to make it known through the whole land, in order that such people may not be chosen for any office, because they are hard-hearted. For the sake of money they would betray everybody—the people, the mother, their nearest relations, and even their own selves. 12. If any man should attempt to sell diseased cattle or damaged goods for sound, the market-keeper shall expel him, and the maidens shall proclaim him through the country. In early times almost all the Finns lived together in their native land, which was called Aldland, and is now submerged. They were thus far away, and we had no wars. When they were driven hitherwards, and appeared as robbers, then arose the necessity of defending ourselves, and we had armies, kings, and wars. For all this there were established regulations, and out of the regulations came fixed laws.

This was the wisdom of the white part of the Atlantean nations, who remained faithful to it even in the time when the black sorcerers entangled the king in their doctrine, and by their perilous arts intervened in Wr-alda’s laws, by which at last Atlantis was submerged, In these survivors and their descendants now return the souls of those who experienced the time just before the great flood. They remember, They find outwardly their holy places and inwardly the holy law of Wr-alda, which nothing and no one can take from them.

Aerial image of Heligoland

Heligoland

In the current century, during deep-sea bottom research, remains of a fortress next to Heligoland have been found; a cobbled courtyard or square. and of a building, which may have been a temple. This agrees with the Greek messages, that on the older, greater Heligoland, the fairest temple in all of Atlantis, whose walls and pillars were clad in amber, through which the sunlight sparkled. It is remarkable that Hans Christiaan Andersen, familiar with Danish folk lore, tells in his fairy tale The Little Mermaid that the sea king lives in a palace of coral and amber at the bottom of the sea. Perhaps there are still remains of that temple.

Amber is a fossilized resin of pine and is only found on the Danish, East German and Polish coasts, where it washes ashore. The Greeks called it Oreichalkos, the Egyptians Ana. The Greek explorer Pytheas of Massilia (later Marseille) sailed in the year 350 BC. up the North Sea in search of the amber larids and found present-day Heligoland, which he named Basileia. It was located off the coast, at the mouth of the river Eridanos: today’s Elbe or Eider. Behind the protected rock of Basileia, which juts up ah cut straight with a knife, he remarked: “A stretch of sea, which seems to consist of air, earth, and water, and is impenetrable as well as unnavigable.” That is the Wadden Sea. Today’s mudflat walkers and those who sail from the mainland to the Eastern Wadden Islands at high tide may remember that they are crossing the Atlantic bottom and the sunken remains of a large sanctuary. In old stories in Northern Germany, there is also talk of the Glasburg, which is said to have sunk near Heligoland. Glass or glaesum was the old name for amber. Barn means to burn.

The amber was melted or dissolved in oil for use as a varnish. Plato relates (according to the information of Egyptian high priests) that the royal palace was situated in the center of the island, 5 furlongs from the coast, in each direction. the island must have been approximately 18.4 km long. The inhabitants extracted white, red and black minerals and copper from the soil and collected the oreichalkos. They made all kinds of copper objects, which were traded to the South. At that time: 2400 years before our era, there was a lively exchange of culture and commodities around the North Sea. At that time, according to the Egyptians, lived there. three tribes: the Pheres, the Saksar and the Danes, so: Frisians, Saxons and Danes. The clay was obtained from a quarry north of present-day Aalborg. the tiles of which were baked, which covered the square between temple and fortress at ancient Basileia and which have now been brought up by frogmen. They are dated to the Bronze Age. In the language of then and there Basileia was called neter-aa, that is, holy earth. Plato translated this as: hiera chora. The ten viceroys of Atlantis had to go to the king’s temple on Heligoland every five or six years for accountability and discussions. The kingdom consisted of ten settlements and many districts. Six districts had to supply a chariot and ten men for the army, four for the navy. This has remained so for a long time, because in the time of the Vikings the army still consisted of units of ten men, which had to be supplied from three, four or six districts. Approximately in 1200 B.E. – but about the time of the scholars disagree – there must have been a huge earthquake, which destroyed both in the north Basileia and in the Mediterranean by a volcanic eruption the island of Thera (Santorini). A huge meteor may have landed in the North Sea south of Atland, where there is a trough .59 m deep. In the Edda it is said that the mythical wolf

Fenrir crashed there. The ancient Greeks mentioned that, when Phaeton was allowed by his father Helios (the sun god) for one day to drive the sun chariot in the sky, deviating from the correct orbit (attracted by the stars of Scorpio, square to Leo, the Sun sign) “the car crashed. where the earth caught fire. His sisters’ tears turned to amber. Apparently this was the report of the natural disaster at the Wadden Islands.

The Nordic Sea Peoples then suffered a heat wave and great drought, which brought famine, after which they partly moved south. These Atlanteans, to which the Frisians, Saxons, and Danes belonged, settled partly in the Alps near the lakes, partly between the Danube and Theiss, and partly in Greece, where they were called Dorians. They occupied the Peloponnese (the Spartans), Crete, Cyprus and Rhodes. Other groups reached Libya, via Sicily and Sardinia, and approached Egypt. These Atlanteans threatened Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ratrises III (1200-1168 BC). They were defeated, but also heard about them. country of origin and what they said is recorded in an Egyptian temple (at 2vIedinet Habu).

Not long after the sea peoples had moved southward. the broken world sea flooded the islands of Atlantis, including the royal temple island of Basileia.

The Egyptian tradition records that the Frisians settled on the coast of Palestine (Phoenicians, Philistines), the Saxons on the west coast of Syria, the Danes on Cyprus and the Dori on the Peloponnese, Crete and Rhodes, The Umbrians, Kimbris and Teutons, those defeated in Libya settled in Italy.

All these North Sea peoples of the Ninth Curvature were tall and pale, with blond hair and blue eyes. Now this explains why ancient Greek civilization was actually spawned by Northerners in a Southern country, and has always attracted the Atlanteans who remained in the North so strongly that Greek is taught to this day in all the gymnasia of Europe “without any direct useful’. It also clarifies that Homer described the journey of Odysseus to his old homeland, including our province of Zeeland, and not a journey through the Mediterranean, which was later intended to be seen in it.

Source: The Solar Year – Mellie Uyidert.

Troja Castles

Troja castles can be found in many European countries and in India. These effigies are a form of mazes. These are formed by hedges or simply by stones that are placed on the ground next to each other. Images on rocks and stones as well as (Greek) coins also occur. These mazes can be classified by their sometimes minimal difference: In the real maze you have to make choices between corridors of which only one is the correct one and where one ends up in a dead end on the other.; circles surrounding each other, the so-called concentric circles.; two-dimensional spirals; three-dimensional spirals ending at the top of a hill.; spirals that lead to the center of the maze, but also a spiral in the opposite direction that leads to the exit; the labyrinth where one walks in ever-reversing smaller circles where one eventually reaches the center, the actual Troja fortress.

The Troja Castle was also the site of initiation rituals. One had to die a ritual death, following the Troja fortress to its core (the world of the dead), om. to come back again as an initiate., the return from the Troja fortress. If one considers a Troja fortress as a sun wheel and its center the underworld, then one can say that it represents the wheel of the year. The Sun that dies (Midwinter) to be born again (Midsummer).

In the middle of the Troja fortress one sometimes finds a tree or a large stone. Here you can recognize the veneration by the Germans on trees and stones. Usually it was a lime tree, dedicated to Freya. Freya was, among other things, goddess of death and rebirth. Here again the connection with the ritual death experience.

There were also Trojaburcht in the Netherlands, especially in West Friesland – in Medenblik and Frvasburcht on Texel – and in Friesland near Stavoren. These Troja fortresses were women’s fortresses or monasteries ¬the term monastery dates back to he term monastery dates back to the term monastery dates back to all Frisians.

King Friso, the mythical ancestor of the Frisians

Over the centuries, many stories have appeared about the mythical king Friso. He is considered the ancestor of the Frisian people. Both the country ‘Friesland’ and the people ‘the Frisians’ are said to have derived their names from this king. Around the year 320 BC he would have been crowned the first king of Friesland.

The Myth of King Friso

Exodus

In distant India, by the river Ganges, was once the realm of King Adel. He was a descendant of the Biblical character Shem (the eldest son of Noah). At one point, King Adel’s empire became overpopulated. Famine and conflict broke out. It was then decided that part of the population had to move elsewhere. A lottery was used to determine which families had to leave the kingdom. They left with a large group of boats, looking for a new country to live in. This fleet was led by three of the king’s sons, the princes Friso, Saxo and Bruno.

Alexander the Great

After various wanderings, they ended up in the kingdom of the Macedonian king Philip II. Prince Saxo became very interested in Greek philosophy. He was for some time a student of Plato and later of Aristotle. His brothers Friso and Bruno, along with many other exiles from the land of Adel, joined the army of the Macedonian king. Friso became friends with the crown prince, later Alexander the Great. When he succeeded his father, Friso became an important general in the army. Friso also played a major role in Alexander’s many great military successes. However, his success caused resentment from other generals. In the year 323 BC, Alexander the Great died. A group of generals took control of the empire, but major conflicts soon arose between them. A civil war broke out. Friso and the other exiles from the kingdom of Adel were designated as scapegoats by various agitators.

A new exodus

The brothers Friso, Saxo and Bruno decided it was time to evacuate their people and start looking for a new land. The fleet of Friso and his associates traveled west first. They pass between the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ on the far western side of the Mediterranean (this was the nickname of the strait in earlier times that later became the Strait of Gibraltar). On the Atlantic Ocean they sailed north for some time, before sailing along with a Gulf Stream a little more to the northeast, towards the North Sea. After many wanderings, they finally arrived in a wooded country on the coast, where no people lived.

The god Stavo

This landing of Friso and his associates in the low countries would have taken place in the year 320 BC. After exploring the area around that place, they decided to stay there. They built a temple there for a deity they knew from their Indian youth and whom they had fervently worshiped during all their wanderings: Stavo ( Thor). They believed it was thanks to that god that they had found this new land. They also named the settlement near the temple after him: Stavoren.

Friso became king of the new land. He built his palace near the temple of Stavo. In practice, Stavoren became the capital of the new empire. From his residence, Friso ruled his country for 68 years. The names of his people and his country are derived from the name Friso: Frisians and Friesland.

Saxony, Brunswijk and Groningen

Initially Saxo and Bruno also lived in Stavoren for some years and they also played an important role in the government of the early Friesland. Later, however, those brothers went their own way. Saxo set out east, with a large group of pioneers in tow, to found another new country. The people named after him ‘the Saxons’ arose from the followers of Saxo. Bruno also left east at one point. There he founded a city that was named after him: Brunswijk. In the 21st century, this place still exists: the German city of Braunschweig. According to various Frisian legends, a grandson of Friso also founded a famous city. Gruno was the grandson’s name and he is the alleged founder of Groningen.

King Friso stayed in the country that was named Friesland after him. He had a daughter who married the king of the Cauchen, and seven sons, each of whom he gave his own shire. Thus arose the seven Sealands, which stretched from Bruges in Flanders to Widau in Schleswig. As a weapon he chose seven floppy leaves, divided by three streams, on a blue field.

The pompeblêden on the Frisian flag

After the year 1900 the flag became more and more famous. To this day, however, many people do not know what ‘those red leaves’ actually do on the Frisian flag.

Why are there pompeblêden on the Frisian flag? An old Frisian legend tells the story of the brothers Friso, Saxo and Bruno. They sailed long ago from India to the Far North. The brothers set foot here and divided the land. Friso named his area Fryslân. At the time, according to legend, Friso carried a weapon with seven red leaves on it. These leaves came from the yellow clump, a plant that was common in Friesland. That’s where the pompeblêden come from!

Why are there seven pompeblêden on the Frisian flag? Friso had seven sons and each son was given a piece of land. The seven pompeblêden on the Frisian flag refer to those seven countries. Why do we speak of pompeblêden and not of plumeblêden? Today we speak of pompeblêden instead of plompeblêden, because the sounds ‘pl’ and ‘bl’ are more difficult to pronounce right after each other, The colors of the Frisian flag The mystery surrounding the Frisian flag and the pompeblêden has almost been unraveled. The question that remains is: what do the colors red, white and blue stand for? The flower petals are red, because they have that color when the plant shoots up from the water in the spring. The white on the flag refers to the reflective water surface and the blue refers to the sky!

Symbolism of Lotus

The lotus plant grows in water. lts leaves float on the surface of the water. The Lotus flowers open above the water. Though the lotus leaves float on the surface of the water, water does not star on them. The lotus cannot exist without water, yet its leaves will not retain water on them. The leaves suck the water through the stalks for their sustenance.

In the same manner, man lives in the sea of Illusion (Maya/ Dunya), i.e., the physica[ body full of craving composed of Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether.

This sea of illusion (Maya/ Dunya), i.e,, the body, shows itself in innumerable forms of varying degrees of beauty, conduct and action. This sea of Illusion smothers the growth of Divine Wisdom. It makes man boast that he will do the irnpossibler that he will make ropes out of sand, etc. The physical body is the sea of Illusion, the seat of sensual pleasures. This sea of ilIusion is full of water arising from the springs of egoism, attended evils and Illusion.

In this sea the light of Soul (Atma or Ruh) grows like the lotus. Like the lotus leaves, Divine Wisdom lies spread on the surface of this sea of Illusion

.

Just as the lotus leaves reject the water of the pond that may fall on them, Divine Wisdom will, without getting soaked in the sea of the fiere senses of Illusion, stand out showing the Truth, rejecting the false and the evanescent which thrive on the pover of Illusion. Like the lotus flower which raises its head out of the pond, opens and shows its beauty, the Flower of the Resplendence of Divine Luminous Wisdom comes out of the Truth in the body or the sea of Illusion and spreads its Rays.

The Resplendence of Divine Luminous Wisdom arising from Gods Grace, the Bliss par excellence, spreads its Rays and shows its real nature. If the Soul rejects the attractions of the body of Illusion and merges with Divine Wisdom and manifests its real form full of Resplendence, God will come to pluck that Lotus Flower of Divine Luminous Wisdom from within the Heart ( alb),

That Flower is His property, It does not belong to anyone else. If you understand these two aspects properly, you will get True Divine Luminous Wisdom,

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen —

Elck (Everyone) and Nemo (No one ): A mirror for 2022

‘Elck’ or ‘Everyman’, study for a print; five figures labelled ‘Elck’ are rummaging through a pile of bales and objects, a bearded old man at centre wearing spectacles and examining a lamp, another figure searching in a sack in left background, another in a barrel in right foreground, and another at left in a basket, behind at right two ‘Elcks’ are having a tug-of-war, an army and tents in the distance.

Elck in Dutch means ‘each’ or ‘everyone’ and the scenes in this drawing illustrate proverbs or sayings. The central proverb concerns Elck who vainly seeks himself in the objects of this world as he stands over a broken globe. With a lantern he searches through a pile of barrels and bales, a game board, cards and objects which signify the distractions of life. To the right, two more Elck figuren play tug af war with a roper illustrating the saying, ‘each tugs for the Iongest end’. In the background on a mail hangs a picture which continues the moral theme_ It shows a fool sitting among a pile of broken household objects gazing at himself in a mirror.

He is Nemo or Nobody, as the inscription below him inforrns us: ‘Nobody knows hirnself”.

This is one of many moral drawings (and paintings) by Pieter Bruegel. Here, he condemns the selfish pursuit of worldly goods but he allso shows, through the picture of the fool, a way af conquering this vice. Only through self-knowledge can Elck free himself from the world’s vanities.

Discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues is  needed in our times. And the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder can help us to find an answer.

Five hundred years ago, there were a number of artists in The Netherlands who saw the beauty in daily life. And more than that: these artists were so talented that their depictions of the commonplace succeeded in making others receptive to it. There and then, in the 53 years between the death of Hieronymus Bosch (1516) and that of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1569) lies the origins of our unquenchable interest for ourselves, the devious and the other. Read more here

To See Yourself within It: Bruegel’s Festival of Fools

The topics of blindness and self-awareness for our time. Read more here