‘Heaven’s loud voice?’ …

Blake’s Angel neatly encapsulates aspects of the Books of Daniel and Revelation.

*

… “Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God,

and the power of Christ: for the accuser of our brothers is cast down,

which accused them day and night…

Therefore rejoice you heavens and you that dwell in them.

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea!

For the devil is come down to you, having greath wrath

because he knows that he has but a short time.”

*

Are we to conclude that this is the voice of St Michael?

I think we are meant to.

*

We may wonder after the inhabitants

of the earth and sea on the third day of creation?

And Christ’s participation at this early stage?

*

The argument, presumably, would be that as the heavenly realms

are beyond time, they include all time, and the passages

we have considered so far are certainly consistent with this theme.

*

Strength in relation to St Michael we already know about.

*

Salvation is a lifting of veils, or scales, from the eyes:

an awakening into that living realisation which alone grants freedom.

*

If some of the traditional attributes of Christ seem to fit Michael,

like casting out devils, then some of the traditional

attributes of Michael can also be seen to fit the Christ.

 

Perspectives on Perception…

*

ENNEAGRAM

The Circle is Time.

Six of the Nine: one-two-four-five-seven-and-eight,
Process through time.

Three of the Nine: three-six-and-nine,
Are outside time…

And Divine.

Yet still impact,
And impinge in time,
By impelling this processional motion.

*

Six of the Nine can be represented by the six faces of a cube:
Enfolded and encased outlooks on the world.

Three of the Nine can be represented by the three dimensions of a cube
for dimension is always an adequate symbol for Divinity.

*

Movement from one dimension to the next is a shock!

*

What is the antithesis of one?
None, two or many…?

*

For many years I laboured under the misapprehension that to glean the gist of a thing was to
have the mere rudiments of it which is almost the exact opposite of the word’s actual
meaning.

This can happen because of the context in which words are used and context
which has at least two viewpoints if not many more is really just another word for perspective.

*

The World is predicated on number.
Mineral, Plant and Animal growth are all governed by number.
Music is number in time.
Geometry is number in space.

Neither the World, Music nor Geometry initially ‘looks’ very much like number but that is what they are.

*

The qualities of number are the key to understanding this, which really means their properties and their relationships, each one conceived as distinct from all the others yet linked by natural sequence and logical progression.

Strictly speaking there are only seven numbers.
Zero is not a number because it is the negation of number
and is therefore both the ‘tomb’ and ‘womb’ of number…
One is not a number because it is everything, without which there would be no thing:
Not One Thing…
Nine is not a number because it is a completion and possesses all the qualities of Zero:
And although numbers go on for ever they always repeat from Nine…

*

But Geometry can help here too because the way we see things affects the way we think about things and vice-versa. Whenever we come across a reversible we have reflection and the world, it has been claimed, is merely a domain of perceived reflections.

Plato’s Cave is the classic simile for this idea.
In order to affect the shadow play of the world screen one has to access the light source.

The outer can only be affected by changing the inner.

*

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Aeons…

Blake’s take on the Seven-Headed Dragon of Revelation is suitably anthropomorphic!

*

We are continuing our ‘trawl’ through chapter twelve of Revelation, which commenced here.

*

… ‘And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered,

for to devour her child as soon as it was born…’

*

Time ‘devours’ everything that is born into the world, but wait, ‘…And

she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:

and her child was caught up into God, and to his throne…’

*

I think the ‘man-child’ here represents an Aeon…

Such a designation would cover both ‘Horus’, and ‘Christ’,

at any rate he his saved from his earthly sojourn and

caught up into a heavenly throne, just like the star Spica,

which nestles in the ‘Throne of Virgo’!

*

Although, ‘ruling all nations with a rod of iron’ may well be something

of an ‘elephant in the room’?

*

The phrase ‘are you ready to be delivered’ can be used to commence

the ritual of exorcising demons.

*

Thrones are always regarded as feminine,

especially when a masculine divinity happens to be sitting upon them.

*

‘…And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place

prepared of God, that they should feed her there

a-thousand-two-hundred-and-sixty-days…’

*

‘God’ appears to be plural here in which case ‘they’ would be the ‘Elohim’.

These are the seven planetary beings, but presumably, from the heavenly

perspective rather than the earthly which in this mythology appears to be demonic.

*

The woman in her escape to the wilderness is reminiscent of both Lilith,

Adam’s first wife who consorts with demons in the desert,

and Sophia, the Gnostic Principle-of-Wisdom, forever

harried by demons throughout her sojourn in an ignorant world.

*

The earthly realm is populated with ‘devils’, it seems,

long before ‘that old serpent’ gets there!

First Matter?

The origins of the Grail Legend?

*

‘The alchemists disagreed on just about every aspect of the Great Work, except one: that it is impossible to succeed without the secret.’
– Patrick Harpur.

*
I am reminded of ‘The Riddle of the Elements.’
The Ancient Greek Philosophers would each in turn trumpet the virtues of a particular Element claiming that it alone was primary and the source of the others, all the time, knowing full well that the solution to the riddle lay in sourcing the Four from a Fifth Element of an entirely different and more spiritual realm known as the Quintessence.

*
The Alchemists appear to be engaged in a similar process, describing the First Matter in terms of three ‘Spirituous Essences’, though the solution this time may be of a different order –
One in Three rather than Four from One.
They also seem to be describing the various products of a process at each stage of its operation simultaneously, thus for e.g. they might have described the process of evaporating sea-water as… Water… and… Salt… as well as its catalyst…Heat or… Fire…

*
Why would they do this?
To widen the scope of a mind mired in linear time?
Possibly, certainly, when one realises that the Fruit is in the Seed and not vice versa, or that the Body is in the Mind… a perspective is instilled, which opens up wide vistas to the Imagination.
Indeed, this technique only seems strange to a mind which habitually regards its own reality as an actuality.

*

As magicians for e.g. we might ask, in Tarot,
How is the ‘High Priestess’ ‘The Empress’?
Or, how is ‘The Fool’ ‘The Magus’?
Or indeed, in the case of ‘The Fool’, how does this key equate with any of the other major keys?
But here the equivalencies seem at the very least, much easier to accept, if not actually natural, simply because we work with these energies in an ‘Imaginal Realm’.

What the Alchemists are really doing is describing the lower in terms of the higher and in some cases what we are reading is, as it were, a Fourth Dimensional description of a Three Dimensional event.

The event itself appears to be an internal unification or better; a re-unification of polarised energies or ‘opposites’, or even, as the Alchemists would have it, a marriage, or wedding but what is the product of that wedding?

*

THE STONE OF MERCURIOUS

Moon’s Flux
Sun’s Seed
Earth’s Crux
Fire in the Sea
Blood from a Tree

 

Shadow of the Earth…

*

… The Book of Revelation is a notoriously difficult text to understand

because of its symbolism and iconography,

however, chapter twelve, which concerns us here,

is relatively straightforward.

*

It commences with a vision: ‘And there appeared

a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed in the sun,

and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars…’

*

This is an astrological description of Virgo, but wait,

‘…And she being with child cried, travailing in birth,

and pained to be delivered.’

*

If the Virgin is to give birth then it must be the Great Goddess Isis or the

Virgin Mary, or at any rate the Star of the Sea, Stella Maris…

*

Already we start to see the problem.

 The iconography may be precise,

but its interpretation can still be ambiguous,

or could the ‘images-of-heaven’ encompass all of these exemplars?

*

‘…And there appeared another wonder in heaven,

a great red dragon, having seven heads

and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads…’

*

Lying alongside the constellation of Virgo in the night sky,

coiling around her, is Hydra, and in Greek mythology,

Hydra appears as a many headed snake, but wait,

‘…And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven

and did cast them to earth.’

*

Not all the stars of the firmament are visible at any one time,

about a third of them move in and out of view over the rim of

the earth’s horizon during the course of a year.

*

Just as the ‘night-time’ at any one location

is caused by the shadow of the earth

passing across the face of the sun,

a third of the night sky

is also obscured by the earth’s horizon.

*

Bodies, planetary or otherwise,

moving through space are shadowed.

*

But what to make of this psychologically?

*

The ‘shadow-side’ of our personality, obscured by a continually

attention seeking conscious mind,

resides in the unconscious, and whilst lurking there,

shrouded in shade, it can be regarded as our own ‘personal devil’.

Menorah?…

Hanukkah Menorah Jewish Judaica Israel Vintage Brass Chanukah ...

Menorah as Chalice

*

… The Book of Revelation can be described

as a book of arcane symbolism.

*

It seems to me astonishing that such a work should have been

accepted into the recommended canon when so many

other far less controversial texts are regarded as apocryphal –

this word which now has connotations of spuriousness or falsity

is derived from the Greek word for ‘hidden’ –

Apocryphal works, then, can be regarded

as those books which possess hidden wisdom.

*

It will be useful to consider the opening few paragraphs

of Revelation and compare them to Daniel’s vision of Michael

which we looked at in earlier posts

*

“It was on the island of Patmos.

I was meditating on the seventh day

when I heard behind me a voice as of many waters,

“I am the beginning and end, first and the last.”

I turned to see who it was that spoke,

and I saw a figure resembling the Son of Man.

He was standing in the middle of seven golden candlesticks.

His beard and his hair were like white wool.

His eyes were flames of fire.

His countenance was bright, as the sun when it shines at its height.

He was clothed in a long white robe.

About his breast went a golden girdle.

In his right hand he held seven stars.

His words rang out of his mouth clearly

with the poignancy of a double-edged sword:

“I am he that lives and was dead.

I possess the keys to death and hell.

I shall live forever more.”

I fell down at his feet and they were like fine-brass forged in a furnace.

He laid his hands upon me, “You must write down all you see in a book,

and send it to the Seven Churches of Asia.

Let all the churches know that I am he who searches

the reins of the heart and gives to every one, according to their works.

Tell them to remember from whence they have fallen,

to return to their first love lest I come upon them like a thief

and remove their candlestick from its place,

thus speaks the ‘Amen’: ‘I know your works, I know that you have a name,

I know that you live, and yet, you are as the dead!'”

*

It might be difficult for St Michael to be described as the,

‘one who is living but was dead’, but

he could certainly lay claim to being regarded as

‘the first and the last’ and also as possessing,

‘the keys to death and hell’…

*

In the Book of Daniel, we may recall,

St Michael was described as a Great Prince,

as a Chief Prince, and as Daniel’s Prince.

Quis ut Deus?

‘Am I more like God than you because I am stronger?’

*

… It was, it seems, the Romans, that most militaristic of empire building peoples

who first insisted that St Michael should be seen, that is, depicted,

in a military light, the Commander-in-Chief of an ‘Army of Angels’, as it were.

*

After Constantine’s defeat of Licineus at the Battle of Adrianople AD 324

which the Emperor attributed to the Archangel Michael he had a painting

of the Saint slaying a Dragon commisioned for the Michaelion,

a Christian Sanctuary nearby, which was previously dedicated to healing waters.

*

This lead to the now standard iconography of Archangel Michael

as a ‘Warrior Saint’, who slays a single-headed Dragon.

*

All empires rely for their dominance, to a certain extent,

on military prowess but the militaristic mind-set of the Romans

infiltrated every aspect of their culture,

and their newly acquired religion, alas, was to be no different…

*

In following this route the Holy Roman Empire

made the same mistake that extreme Islamists of today make

when they perpetrate terrorist acts in the name of ‘Jihad’,

that is, they confused the edicts of an inner conflict with its outward projection.

*

Or was it just a straightforward case of demonising ‘the opposition’,

and are these the same thing anyway?

‘War in Heaven’…

*

… We have to wait until the final book of the ‘New Dispensation’ before we

encounter a Dragon.

*

“And there was war in heaven:

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon…”

*

The Dragon in question, though, is red and, “… has seven heads,

and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads…”

*

This being the Book of Revelation we may well wonder about the symbolism…

*

Unusually for this text we do not have to wonder for very long for we are told,

“… and the Great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan…

he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.”

*

At which point we realise that although the book purportedly deals with ‘last things’,

this particular vision has to do with ‘first things’, the Third Day of Creation to be precise,

and the expulsion from Heaven of Lucifer and the Fallen Angels…

*

Why this Dragon should have seven heads is an interesting question made all the

more interesting by the fact that few if any of the depictions of St Michael

show him in combat with a seven headed Dragon or accompanied by any other angels!

*

Also worth consideration is the attempt to visualise ten horns on seven heads…

*

It can be done thus: the two ‘end-heads’ and the ‘central-head’ have two horns each,

and the other four heads have only one horn each.

*

In this context the phrase, ‘for a time, times and half-a-time,’

which was first brought to our attention

in the Book of Daniel, and is again utilised

later in this Chapter of Revelation, springs to mind.

*

It is possible that the Seven Headed Dragon is a symbol of time.

Satan is earlier described as the one, “…which deceives the whole world.”

A description which could also serve for time…

*

The Creation, in this schemata, takes seven days to complete,

and seven is the basis for a number of natural rhythms and cosmic cycles,

and is the symbolic number used throughout the text of Revelation…

*

Obviously, we still, in some part, retain this rhythm by following a seven day week.

*

For the ‘Old Dispensation’, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday,

which is Venus, Saturn and Mars would represent, ‘times’,

whilst Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday,

that is, Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter would be, ‘half-times’.

*

And for the ‘New Dispensation’, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday,

and their corresponding Planetary Cycles would be considered, ‘times’,

whilst Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and their

corresponding Planetary Cycles would be the ‘half-times’.

*

But does any of this really matter?

Over such things, traditionally, are wars fought and countless lives lost…

*

With regard to this particular stained glass window we might wonder

why Michael needs to be armoured, with a hand resting on the

pommel of his sword, in order to weigh

the souls of the dead?

 

Graven Image…

10 Top Pictures Of Saint Michael The Archangel Full - Archangel Michael Wallpaper Hd, HD Wallpaper Download #1990668

*

‘ … And look! A man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold… His body also was like beryl and his face had the appearance of lightning. His eyes were as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to burnished brass. The voice of his words was as the voice of a multitude… and he said, “… To you am I now sent. Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, your prayers were heard and I am come for your prayers… I am come to make you understand what will befall your people in the latter days. I will show you the literal truth of these things. There is no other that can do this.”‘

*

It is very difficult to find any illustrations for this piece.

Perhaps that is linked to the Hebraic injunction against graven images.

*

In the current climate of image saturation it might be worthwhile

 considering the possible reasons for such an injunction…

*

Speaking of his encounter with the ‘man clothed in linen’ Daniel says, “I alone saw the vision and the men that were with me saw it not but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled and hid themselves… I was left alone and threw myself to the ground. When he spoke I stood, trembling, and when he had finished speaking I was strengthened.”

Elsewhere in the text Daniel is less sure of this being’s precise nature:

“… And look! One like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips. I opened my mouth and spoke… Then there came again, and touched me, one like the appearance of a man…”

Michael is described both as a ‘Chief Prince’, and as ‘Daniel’s Prince’ by the narrator.

And later, as a ‘Great Prince’… “How long until the end of these awful things?”

Then I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the water of the river, swear by the Ever-Living One as he lifted his right hand and his left hand to heaven, “For a time, times, and half a time and when the breaking of the power of the holy people comes to an end, then shall all these things be fulfilled.”

*

Already, after this brief overview we can glimpse some of Michael’s traditional attributions.

He is concerned with ‘end times’.

He strengthens and protects the individual and can be petitioned on behalf of nations or ‘a people’.

He acts as a bridge and can communicate, high to low, and low to high.

*

In times of hardship and stuggle he may well be worth invoking…