The Anunnaki…

 

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The Anunnaki… Cometh!

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…They drinketh the dew of Heaven.

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…They eateth the fruit of Earth.

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LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY
A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

Contexts: scribes…

Image result for sumerian cylinder seals - beer and planets

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With the advent of cuneiform, the Oral Tradition continued to develop alongside ‘written literature’, but the primary purpose of recording stories in writing was not necessarily to supply individual readers with a coherent or connected account of ‘historical’ events.

Ancient stories were used for a multitude of purposes, often in extracts attached to ritual, to give authenticity, or to provide an aetiology, i.e. a reason for the way things are as they are, to lend weight to ancient traditions, or customs, or to an incantation.

Many of the ancient scribes were Incantation Priests.

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“When in doubt,” smiles Wen, producing a battered copy of Longmans from the murky depths of her shoulder bag, and, rather too conspicuously, for my liking, clearing her throat…

Sure enough, this unwarranted live event has now started to draw the attention of some idle strays who sidle over and form a crescent around Wen as she finally gets her reading specs onto her conk and launches into the definition…

“Incantation – noun the use of spoken or sung spells as part of a magic ritual; also, a written or recited magical formula of words designed to produce a particular effect fr Latin incantus, past participle of incatare, to enchant…”

*

“That’s not too bad, considering,” I concede, after I have finished dragging Wen away from our unsolicited audience of now somewhat bemused looking spectators.

“It’s bloody brilliant,” says Wen, “and so precise!”

“A chorus, it is then.”

“The chorus is Greek,” says Wen, “So we may have to call the chorus, ‘the fates’.”

*

LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY
A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

Contexts: creation…

Image result for sumerian cylinder seals

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‘In Mesopotamian mythology a Mother Goddess, with the assistance of a God of Wisdom created men out of clay, mixed with the blood of a slain God.

The Primeval male and female human beings were not allotted a life-span.

People originally only died as the result of natural disasters such as plague, famine or flood, or by internecine strife.

The Epic of Gilgamesh culminated with the introduction of a limited life-span for Mankind.

Man’s original purpose in being was to relieve the Gods and Goddesses of hard labour.

Gods and Goddesses associated with birth and fertility were also patrons of mining, smelting, and metal work.’

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“We find the information contained on this board to be ever so slightly uncomfortable.”

“It’s slave mentality.”

“And it’s metallic mind.”

 “’The blood of the slain God’ is perhaps most perplexing.”

“It might be more than that if the Gods were Planetary Beings.”

“How so?”

“There is an asteroid belt orbiting the earth which some claim used to be a planet.”

“Which makes my next question even more pertinent.”

“Shouldn’t that be impertinent?”

“Who, or what, slew the God?”

*

 

LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY
A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

Contexts: the flood…

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‘Various stories relating a catastrophic flood are told by classical authors.

These flood stories may derive from a single Mesopotamian original used in travellers tales for over two thousand years along the great Caravan Routes of Western Asia.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh the ‘Flood Story’ is used to mark the time in history after which it was no longer possible for a mortal to win immortality.

The Flood is also important in wider Mesopotamian Tradition as it marks the end of the period when the Seven Sages lived on earth and brought to mankind the arts of civilisation…

The various derivations of the Flood Hero’s name, or epithets, attest to this transition… ‘Extra-Wise’ ‘He Found Life’ ‘The Far-Distant’ ‘The Green One’.’

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… Wen and I are still in the British Museum mulling over one of the information boards.

We don’t normally hold with ‘establishment views’ but this one’s not bad.

“There seems to be some conflation of Sages with Gods.”

“That there are seven should, perhaps, be ringing bells.”

“The planets?”

“Planetary Beings.”

“‘Lived on earth’ probably needs ‘fleshing out’ then.”

“‘Moved amongst men’?”

“Is possibly even more confusing.”

“You’re probably right, but it is clear from the cylinder seals, that there was communication of some form.”

“Science has a lot to answer for in that respect.”

“Not least the ‘word salad’ of creation.”

*

LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY

A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

Religious Syncretism: a proper priest…

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… “What are you talking about?”

“A question of questions, young Wendolina, the answer to which may serve as a stunning proof of our original assertion.”

Your original assertion, which was posed as a question anyway. And I’m older than you are.”

“Yes, yes, dearest Wendlebury. There was a need for the razor ban, in order, to achieve assimilation. The original model for Samson wasn’t Gilgamesh at all, it was his ‘alter-ego’, the wild-man, Enkidu, who in the words of birds-feet etched into tablets of baked-clay over four thousand years ago, possessed long hair like a woman and an excessively hairy body.”

“In that case the ‘jaw-bone’ may well be a form of boomerang…” muses Wen, and then, “Birds Feet?”

“Cuneiform.”

“If I wasn’t so confused, I’d be tempted to jump up and down,” says Wen.

“Two-thirds animal, one-third man.”

“Ah,” says Wen, the light of comprehension settling down to roost in her visage, “I knew the British Museum would be a good idea.”

“Rule Britannia!”

“Are we allowed to be rational for a moment?”

“We would not expect you to be anything else.”

“If we consider Enkidu who is two-thirds animal, one-third man, together with Gilgamesh, who is two-thirds divine, one-third man, and treat them as one whole man, we get a ruler who is one-third animal, one-third divine, and one third man.”

“The idea was to create harmony out of an imbalance. On his own Gilgamesh mistook arrogance for strength and had become a tyrant and tormentor of his people.”

“But the constructor of this tale would have to be a psychologist of far greater acumen than Carl Gustav Jung to have come up with that device.”

“But it gets better. The harmony doesn’t last for long. The human part of Gilgamesh corrupts the animal part of Enkidu and as a result, together, they visit an ecological disaster upon their civilisation.”

“This story is how old?”

“About four thousand years.”

“It’s not only high genius, it’s also pertinent.”

“Genius is always pertinent.”

“Do we know who the author is?”

“Do we ever know who the author is?”

“Do we know who the author is purported to be?”

“Gilgamesh existed as the legendary protagonist in a number of Sumerian poems long before ‘his story’ was turned into an ‘epic poem’.”

“So, who turned it into an epic poem?”

“The compiler of the first ‘epic’ now referred to as the Old Babylonian Version is unknown.”

“And the later version?”

“Five hundred years after the Old Babylonian version had been circulated a ‘scholar-priest’ called Sin-leqi-unninni revised and elaborated it.”

“Another name to conjure with.”

“Sin-leqi-unninni’s epic is now regarded as the Standard Version.”

“And in some quarters, at least, he is regarded as a genius with greater psychological acumen than Carl Gustav Jung.”

“Well, he was a priest.”

“A proper priest.

*

LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY

A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

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Religious Syncretism: iconotropy…

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… “Is he meant to be a giant?”

“In the story he is two-thirds divine, one third-man.”

“Which doesn’t actually answer my question.”

“I don’t know, is he meant to be a giant?”

“Ah, I see… Well, if that is a full grown lion, then he is very definitely a giant.”

“The Hebrew story-tellers saw fit to make the lion, a cub.”

“With the express aim of de-gigantisising him I expect.”

“Is that a word?”

“I shouldn’t think so.”

“So why would they downsize him?”

“Because the strength of their hero didn’t come from his size. It came from God.”

“The Spirit of the Lord.”

“The Spirit of the Lord, that’s right.”

“But if Gilgamesh is two-thirds divine, doesn’t his strength come from ‘God’ too?”

“Gilgamesh has a divine mother, Ninsun, and a father who was born human but later became divine.”

“Ninsun, is a name to conjure with,” murmurs Wen and then, “this becoming divine business is interesting.”

“And the crux of their reasoning for a change. The Hebrews did not go in for that kind of truck with the Gods. Their God was transcendent. Only his feminine aspect was immanent and because of that she was not regarded as a Goddess. She was known as the Shekinah but even this, later became all but forgotten. At least officially.”

“That is not the jaw-bone of an ass is it?”

“I very much doubt it.”

“Do we have any idea what it actually is?”

“Nope. None whatsoever, but I expect it will reveal its identity at some point during the proceedings.”

“Research!” proclaims Wen, triumphantly.

“If you insist,” but this is a form of research too. The Greeks called it dialectic… three, six, nine… lots of maybe’s, lots of supposes…”

“So, why should transcendence be considered the ‘be all and end all’?”

“I don’t know, why should transcendence be considered the ‘be all and end all’?”

“Well, it has to do with the outer, and hierarchy, and objectivity.”

“None of which are intrinsically unsound concepts.”

“Until they are regarded as ends in themselves and not as integral parts of process and cycle. I like his hair.”

“Not so sure about the chain-mail beard though.”

“Did Samson have a beard?”

“I expect so, although I suspect the ban on the razor only extended to his head.”

“Oh really, and why would one suspect that?”

“I’m not totally sure, but I think it has something to do with the sun, and its rays.”

“If most of the Hebrew males wore long hair and beards anyway, why was there a need for the razor ban?” pondered Wen.

“Ah, is that the sound of trumpets scaling the ramparts of heaven?”

*

LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY

A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

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Religious Syncretism…

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“Then, Samson went down to the vineyards of Timnath and a young lion roared against him.

The Spirit of the Lord came upon him so that, with nothing in his hands, he rent mightily the lion as though it were a young goat.”

Judges 14

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“And then Samson found a jawbone of an ass and he took it and with it he slew heaps upon heaps of men to the number of a thousand.”

– Judges 16

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“You know, I’m not sure syncretism is quite the right word,” says Wen, eyeing the icon of Gilgamesh with some trepidation.

We are in the British Museum doing ‘research’ as Wen likes to call it.

‘Pick up your staff and pen,’ she said, ‘we have work to do.’

Which means in Wen-Speak, among other things, more churches…

“Your doubts are probably well founded. Mr Graves called it ‘iconotropy’ – turning religious iconography to new religious purpose.”

“Oh, him again. No one knows who Robert Graves is.”

“Well, they should! Anyway, in ‘King Jesus’ he has a Priestess of Astarte and Joshua-ben-Miriam go through a whole series of cave-bound images with each of them giving a different yet perfectly valid interpretation of the self same icon.”

“Cave-bound?”

“Inscribed in a cave.”

“It hardly seems possible.”

“Religious interpretation, I should have said.”

“It still hardly seems possible.”

“Why isn’t anything, anything else?”

“You’re being obscure again,” says Wen.

“It’s what we bring to the table!”

“I like that,” says Wen, looking slightly perturbed as I hone in with a Gob-Stopper to hand.

“ifzattthicklynekxazzery,” says Wen, her mouth full of Gob-Stopper.

“Our own journey is entirely imaginary,” I continue in my obscure way, “that is its strength. Longman says so and he is never wrong.”

“Oooh, the Long-Man of Wilmington,” says Wen having now unceremoniously discarded the Gob-Stopper, “now there’s a thought.”

“So, that’s that then…”

*

LORD OF THE DEEP: THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY

A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download Booking Form

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Derbyshire Delights…

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It was over 14 years ago now in March 2004 that I first sampled the delights of Derbyshire at a Mystical Weekend in the Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow.

In those days I was a relativley new member of a worldwide Mystical Order and the idea of a ‘Weekend Retreat’ amongst strangers was unfamiliar and rather daunting.

I recall a moment of panic on my way to this remote spot as the bus from Sheffield headed deeper and deeper into the Derbyshire wilds… ‘It’s in the middle of nowhere,’ I thought with mounting hysteria, ‘we could all be murdered in our sleep and no one would ever know…’ I can now smile at such momentary fears brought on no doubt by a teenage staple of Dennis Wheatley and H.P. Lovecraft but there is a legitimate question here for those with no experience of such matters.

‘What does one do on a Mystical Retreat?’

Well that depends of course on which particular school is running the retreat and what the particular brief or theme for the weekend is.

My first retreat was a heady mix of group and private meditations, and informative and engaging talks and presentations by members of the Order of which I was then part.

But that is to describe only the formal aspects of such events; there is usually between the scheduled programmes plenty of time to commune with fellow participants or if one prefers time enough, to simply be alone with nature in the peaceful surrounds of the centre.

…But really the best answer to such an enquiry is, ‘one needn’t do anything on a Mystical Retreat, it is far more effective to simply be… and see where it leads.’

The annual trips to Derbyshire became something of a pilgrimage for me and with continued presence my involvement in the formal running of such events grew…

…In 2011 and now under the aegis of a Magical School but again back at the Nightingale for a weekend retreat our lodge staged a four act dramatic ritual which focused on the search for the philosopher’s stone.

Very ‘Harry Potter’ and all rather grand sounding but really it is just a group of life-affirming people with common purpose exploring together the notion of that which is more than the sum of its parts.

And in 2013 and now as the inaugural event of The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, the four act drama had become five acts and a tradition had been put in place which we hope will continue long into the future…

The dramas are script led and no prior experience is assumed.
There is no audience because everybody participates so there is no pressure and no one to mind if a ‘mistake’ is made…

In the words of one recent attendee: ‘It’s beautiful, it’s fun, and it’s profound.’

No one has been murdered, of course, but a goodly number of folk have returned from our events with their sense of life purpose refreshed and renewed and their belief in the spirit released to soar…

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We hope you can join us in 2019 for, Lord of the Deep: The Quest for Immortality

A DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

We will be delighted to see you.

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download the Booking Form

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

Lord of the Deep: The quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire

Hunting the ‘Tree Demon’…

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…”Where Hu-Wa-Wa comes and goes becomes a track and all those ways are well trodden.

As Hu-Wa-Wa passes through the forest the birds begin to sing…

Wood-Pigeon moans.

Turtle-Dove coos in answer.

As Hu-Wa-Wa passes through the forest the animals call…

Monkey-Mother shouts.

Monkey-Child shrieks.

Like a band of musicians and drummers the birds and animals

bash out their rhythm daily in the presence of Hu-Wa-Wa.

Hu-Wa-Wa hears all the sounds of the forest.

Even the faintest rustling amongst the leaves.

Who amongst Gods or Men can enter his domain and defeat him?”…

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The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019

THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

*
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

*

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

*

Click here to download the Booking Form

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For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

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Lord of the Deep: The Quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire

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