Tobias and the Angel…

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Francesco_Botticini_-_I_tre_Arcangeli_e_Tobias.jpg

(Francesco Botticini)

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The story of Tobias is told in the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament.

The book of Tobit is part of the Catholic Old Testament but is considered apocryphal by Protestants and does not form part of the Jewish canon.

It is an ancient writing and Aramaic and Hebrew fragments of the tale where found in Cave IV in Qumran in 1955.

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Tobias was the only child of a blind, holy man, named Tobit, and his wife, Anna.

Tobit sent his young son Tobias on an errand to a distant land to collect monies that were owed to him.

As he started on his journey Tobias was met by the angel, Raphael, disguised as a man named, Azarias.

Tobias and the angel started on their way accompanied by Tobias’ dog…

They stopped the first night by the River Tigris and as Tobias went to wash his feet a monstrous fish came up and tried to devour him.

Tobias wrestled with the fish and managed to haul it out onto the dry land.

The angel told Tobias to cut out the heart, gall and liver of the fish and preserve them.

Tobias and the angel arrived at the house of a kinsman named Raguel who had a daughter named Sara, his only child.

Sara had been married seven times and all seven husbands had been killed by the demon of lust, Asmodeus, before any of the marriages were consummated.

The angel Raphael told Tobias that he should marry Sara.

On their wedding night Raphael instructed Tobias to place the heart of the fish over the hot coals of the fire which he did.

The smoke from the fish drove the demon away.

Raphael followed in pursuit of the fleeing demon, and upon catching him, bound him…

Tobias and Sara, along with Tobias’ dog, returned to Tobit and Anna.

Tobias anointed his father’s eyes with the gall of the fish and Tobit’s sight was restored.

Tobit and Tobias discussed what wages to give Azarias.

When Tobit and Tobais approached Azarias to tell him that they wanted to give him half of all they possessed Azarias revealed himself as the angel, Raphael, and explained that he had been sent to help because Tobit was such a holy man.

Tobit lived to one hundred and two years.

After his death, Tobias and Sara and their seven sons returned to the house of Sara’s parents.

“Tobias and the Angel” was a popular theme in art from the early Renaissance.

In paintings from this time, Tobias is generally depicted carrying a fish and accompanied by his small dog and the angel, Raphael.

This depiction gradually developed into the image of the “Guardian Angel”.

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Workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. Tobias and the Angel. 33x26cm. 1470-75. NG London.jpg

(Andrea del Verocchio’s workshop)

Jude the Obscure…

Solved by Walking…

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While the initial idea was to consider all the scriptural references to Michael,

the General Epistle of Jude promised to be problematic.

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It is the first and only scriptural text to refer to Michael

as an Archangel and is important for that reason,

but that aside, for a long time, there seemed little else to commend it,

apart that is for an apparent obscurity.

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The quotation in full runs thus:

‘Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil,

he disputed about the body of Moses,

dared not bring against him a railing accusation,

but said, “The Lord rebukes you!”

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A couple of things present themselves…

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Firstly, ‘contending’ may not necessarily be ‘warring’ so

that the devil here accords more readily with the ‘Old Dispensation’

notion of Satan as accuser or prosecutor in a court of Law,

a disputant, as it were, in a legal confontation.

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From such a notion, presumably, springs

the age old tradition of playing, ‘Devil’s advocate’.

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And secondly, Michael, albeit, a mighty Archangel

relies exclusively upon ‘The Lord’s’ power in order to ‘win the day’.

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We are here, it seems, a far cry from the, ‘war in heaven’ of Revelation,

and perhaps a little closer to the Hebraic conception of a more orderly

and seemingly purposeful expulsion from the heavenly realms by God.

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But why should the body of Moses be key?

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The body here could be symbolic of the earth realm,

and as such would be the point at issue in any sought after transformation.

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The Old Dispensation relied soley on purification

and a raising of the earthly body through initiation.

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This process was symbolised by a new, clean raiment.

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The New Dispensation appears to have ‘upped the ante’,

by insisting upon a ‘World Apocalypse’,

which eventually results in The New Jerusalem…

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And nobody has ever seen that!

A Gnostic Chapter?…

Ancient of Days, William Blake

Left Hand Paths?

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… The concluding sections of Chapter Twelve are by far its weakest.

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In them much of the previous story is restated in far greater detail.

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The woman is given eagle wings with which to evade the ‘serpent’

and bring her to a place beyond it’s sight where she may safely feed?

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There is though some ambiguity here which rests on an

interpretation of the phrase ‘…from the serpent’s face’.

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Serpents ‘see’ via the vibrations carried on air waves,

and can hypnotise prey, with their gaze, before striking…

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The biblical flood is then unleashed by the ‘serpent’

but the Earth comes to the woman’s rescue

by swallowing the flood waters.

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If earlier sections have blurred the distinction between St Michael and Christ,

then this episode surely does the same for God and the Devil?

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The rest of time is to be played out with the ‘serpent’ persecuting

the remnants of the woman’s seed that have survived the flood…

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None of which accords particularly well with previous scripture,

although Moses is given ‘eagle’s pinions’ at one stage

in order to get him to where he needs to be!

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The chapter, taken as a whole, has a distinctly Gnostic aspect to it

with the Earth populated merely by

heaven’s discarded remnants,

and overseen by a wrathful demiurge railing against time.

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The time-phrase riddle for the ‘New Dispenation’,

resolves itself into a designation of the mystery woman

as Venus, the Pagan Goddess of Love,

which in the light of much that has transpired

in the last millenium makes a lot more sense than most other solutions –

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Of the ‘half-time’ planetary beings only the Moon and Venus

are conceived as Feminine and as the woman symbolically

‘stands-on-the-moon’ she cannot be the moon.

There are also some very persuasive

astronomical reasons for this designation…

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– The only way out of the nightmare is by death or, as St Michael proclaims,

by ‘the blood of the Lamb,’ and by the ‘word of testimony’,

which is, perhaps, not the clearest of ‘road maps’ for people to follow…

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Heaven by design, Earth by default,

has ever been the cry of those irrevocably lost at heart.

 

Codes, Codices and Codas…

ss‘Ego and Essence’

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To synthesise and to decipher symbolism requires contemplation.

Contemplation involves the mind in a simultaneous three-fold operation;
Review, Analysis and Enquiry…
When performed with honest intent the essence inevitably reveals itself.

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The Codices of the New Testament offer great scope for contemplation.

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A psychological approach to storytelling opens to us Esoteric Christianity.

Exoteric Christianity insists upon the historical authenticity of the Gospels…
…And posits the notion of a vicarious salvation via belief.
Esoteric Christianity insists upon neither of these two tenets.

Below is a comprehensive analysis of the story of the Marriage of Cana.

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Marriage at Cana

1. The Third Day…was a marriage at Cana of Galilee and the Mother of Jesus was there and also Jesus was called…
2. And wine having failed the Mother of Jesus said to him, ‘Wine they have not.’
3. Jesus said to her, “What… to me and to thee Woman? Not yet is mine hour come.”
4. His Mother said to the Ministrants, “Whatever he may say to you… do.”
5. There were six water jugs of stone placed according to the purification of the Jews holding each three measures.
6. Jesus said to them, “Fill the stone jugs with water.” And they filled them… up to the brim.
7. And then he said to them, “Draw out now and bear to the Director of the Apartment.” And they did so.
8. And the Director of the Apartment tasted the water becoming wine and knew not whence it is, yet the Disciples knew from whence they had drawn it, the Director of the Feast did then call the Bridegroom and said to him, “everyman at first the good wine set forth and when they have drunk freely only then the inferior but you have kept the good wine for Now.”
9. This, the first Sign of Jesus in his manifest glory at Cana in Galilee.

– John 2…

Relationships

Mother – Son = Stone = ‘Letter of Law’
Bridegroom – (Bride) = Water = ‘Spirit of Law’
(Husband) – (Wife) = Wine = ‘Divine Law’

Psychology

Director of the Apartment = Ego
Director of the Feast = Essence
Ministrants = Unredeemed aspects of personality
Disciples= Redeemed aspects of personality
Woman = Active Receptivity.

Teaching

All aspects of the personality are redeemed by active receptivity to Divine Dispensation.

 

Spirit y’all? – Stuart France

This week, I will be sharing again a little about the people behind the Silent Eye… this is Stuart’s journey…

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‘Our own journey is entirely imaginary: that is its strength.’

– Louis Ferdinand Celine.

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I grew up in a religiously tolerant family which knew a thing or two about love and faith. Nan left the Catholic Church to marry Gramps and their eldest son, Uncle Geoff, my mum’s little brother eventually rejoined the Catholic Church in order to marry Aunty Cath, which meant that when we went to spend holidays with Little Geoff and Janet and Mandy we went to their Church with them which was Catholic, and when Little Geoff, Janet and Mandy came to spend the holidays with us they came to our church which was Church of England. It didn’t seem odd to do this and it came as something of a shock to realise that in olden times people had lost their lives for less.

featherd
Anyhow, I eventually grew suspicious of a Church which required me to stand and proclaim my belief in something that is seemingly physically impossible and so I ceased frequenting on Sun Day’s, although, I still liked to ‘rock up’ around Christmas time to sing Carols, and even at the height of my teens I could be found attending Midnight Mass of a Christmas Eve.

My Religious Knowledge teacher at senior school was a good sort, Mr Whalley by name. He taught that all religious systems essentially referred to the same ‘thing’ which he called Spirit, and he stressed the personal nature of the contact which could be enjoyed with this thing. I liked the stories too, and not just the Christian ones. I liked all the stories because it felt like they were trying to tell me something, if I would only listen… It wasn’t though an immediately obvious thing and it wasn’t historical either because it went beyond history, although I liked historical stories too. I would have liked to study Religious Knowledge at ‘O’ Level but the selections were not set up right, so I couldn’t.

I suppose, really, I came to spirituality through literature and philosophy which I studied to degree level. One shouldn’t really be putting pen to paper unless one has something communal and good to impart and philosophy, properly, is the ‘Love of Wisdom’.

The Spirit is infinitely wise…

fox practise, hordron 001 (57)

Knowing that, though, is a lot easier than living it… so, really, my spiritual education was only just beginning when I joined and studied with a series of Spiritual Schools. First, OBOD, The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, which teaches love for the Spirit of Nature, then, AMORC, The Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, which teaches love for the Spirit of Mysticism, and finally, SOL, Servants of the Light which teaches love for the Spirit of Magic.

Can anyone conceive a well lived life without a love and reverence for the spirit of nature, and the inherent magic, and mystery of existence in some form or another?

I know I can’t.

I don’t think it is necessary to belong to a Spiritual School in order to be spiritual, quite the contrary, because life itself can be regarded as a school of the Spirit, which of course it is, but joining a Spiritual School can certainly help because what these schools really teach is a series of techniques which enable us to access our natural abilities in order to attune with the spiritual dimension of the world around us in a meaningful and productive way.

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Our School, the Silent Eye, in that respect, is no different from any of the others, we just have a different set of techniques and, perhaps, a slightly more modern approach.

‘The easiest way to approach spirituality is through stories, they are common to every tradition on earth and rather than demand belief all they ask is a willing suspension of disbelief…’
– The Initiate.

Xmas St Faiths 001_pp
…Y’all come back now… you hear?

The Lion’s Share

 

 

“Tell me,” said Joshua, “why is that person carrying a lamb to the city ?”

Judas Thomas said, “So that he may kill it and eat it.”

Joshua said, “Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy.

Damn the soul that depends on the flesh.

Damn the flesh that depends on the soul.

How miserable is the body that depends on these two ?

Together they are like a dog in a cattle manger, where neither the dog nor the cattle can eat hay.

During the days when you eat what is dead you make it alive, but when you are in the light, where the dead are not alive and the living will not die, what will you do ?

If the body came into being because of the spirit then it is a marvel: if the spirit came into being because of the body then it is a marvel of marvels; I marvel that such great wealth dwells in so much poverty.

Cursed be the man who eats a lion

that the lion becomes human.

Blessed be the lion that eats a man

when the lion becomes human.”

Extract from The Living One

 

A Bibliomantic Tale VIII…

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Pennant Valley

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A slight change to the Sunday Morning plans means that there are two readings for one location this time.

Escape

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Pages Two-One-One and Two-One-Two

No 4 (Light)

‘The profoundest disclosure in the religious experience is the awareness that the individual is not alone. What he discovers as being true and valid for himself must at last be a universal experience or else it ultimately loses all of its personal significance. His experience is personal, private, but in no sense exclusive. All of the vision of God and holiness which he experiences, he must achieve in the context of the social situation by which his day-by-day life is defined. What is disclosed in this religious experience, he must define in his community.’

– Howard Thurman

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No 5 (Dark)

‘Jesus rests his case for the ultimate significance of his life on the love ethic. Love is the intelligent, kindly, but stern expression of kinship of one individual for another having as its purpose the maintenance and furtherance of life at its highest level… If we accept the basic proposition that life is one, arising out of a common centre – all expressions of love are acts of God. Hate, then, becomes a form of annihilation of self and others; in short – suicide.’

– Howard Thurman

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But that we could escape to such an idyllic green world.

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No 9 (Light)

‘The strictly scientific view of the universe needs this dimension of love and play, which it sorely lacks. That is one thing I like about space flights: at last there is something of cosmic play getting into the sombre, unimaginative, and super serious world of science. But what is a little play of astronauts against the great, gloomy, dogmatic seriousness of the death game, nuclear war? Can we recover from the titanic humourless of our civilisation?

– Thomas Merton

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No 8 (Dark)

‘The contemplative life should liberate and purify the imagination which passively absorbs all kinds of things without our realising it: liberate and purify it from the influence of so much violence done by the bombardment of social images. There is a kind of contagion that affects the imagination unconsciously much more than we realise. It emanates from things like advertisements and from all the spurious fantasies that are thrown at us by our commercial society. These fantasies are deliberately intended to exercise a powerful effect on our conscious and subconscious minds. They are directed right at our instincts and appetites and there is no question but that they exercise a real transforming power on our whole psychic structures. The contemplative life should liberate us from that kind of pressure which is really a form of tyranny.’

– Thomas Merton

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We concluded our reading reveries with a walk along the valley in an an attempt to draw closer to this green idyll and, perchance, enter in, beyond its sacred veil.

What we discovered was ‘Big Farmer’.

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to be continued…

A Bibliomantic Tale VII…

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Harlech Castle

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“Patrick McGoohan’s, ‘The Prisoner’, displays many thematic similarities to Franz Kafka’s, ‘The Castle’ and ‘The Trial’.”

Authority

Pages One-Five-Two and One-Five-Three

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No 8 (Light)

O God, the longer I gaze upon your face, the more acutely do you seem to turn the gaze of your eyes upon me!…Thus when I meditate on how that face is truth and the best measure of all faces, I am expanded into a state of immense wonder…

Those who look upon you with a loving face will find your face looking at them with love… Those who look upon you in hate will similarly find your face hateful. Those who gaze at you in joy will find your face joyfully reflected back at them.

– Nicolas of Cusa

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“Nature reduces all physical constructs to rubble and all mental constructs to hot air.”…

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No 9 (Dark)

O Divine One, all beauty which can be conceived is less than the beauty of your face.

Though every face is beautiful, no face is beauty’s self but your face, God/ess, has beauty and this having is being.

It is absolute beauty itself, which is the form that gives being to every beautiful form.

– Nicolas of Cusa

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Dyffryn Ardudwy Dolmen

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To close the day we repaired to a sacred site and performed a simple but effective turning of the year ritual.

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Pages Two-Two-Seven and Two-Two-Eight.

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No 2 (Light)

‘To understand the world, knowledge is not enough. You must see it, touch it, live in its presence and drink the vital heart of existence in the very heart of reality.’

– Teilhard de Chardin

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No 3 (Dark)

‘Let us advance one step further. What name should we give to this physio-moral energy of personalisation to which all activities displayed by the stuff of the universe are finally reduced? Only one name is possible, if we are to credit it with the generality and power that it should assume in the cosmic order: love… The conclusion is always the same: Love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy of the world.’

– Teilhard de Chardin

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to be continued…

A Bibliomantic Tale IV…

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“Somewhere in all that cloud stands a Druid at the head of a circle.”

“Let’s go see if we can find him.” …

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The Pillars: Penmaenmawr.

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Tee minus Six hours and counting…

“It’s odd, I had no recollection of these pillars, yet now that I see them I do remember and it seems like only yesterday. We went that way, which is, I believe, the long way round, so we’re going to go in the opposite direction.”

“Not before we’ve taken a reading we’re not.”

“It is working isn’t it?”

“It seems to be. One-Five-Eight, so that’s Five, or One-Five Nine, or Six?”

“Five.”

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No 5 (Light)

‘The Logos of creation in whom all things were created can be nothing other than divine wisdom. Thus it is that wisdom is eternal, for it precedes every beginning and all created reality.’

– Nicolas of Cusa

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“Ha ha ha! Eternal Wisdom on our way to meet a Druid, I like that.”

“It does seem to be having some fun with us. So what’s the shadow side?”

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No 6 (Dark)

‘Humanity will find that it is not a diversity of creeds, but the very same creed which is everywhere proposed. There cannot but be one wisdom. If it were possible to have many wisdoms these would have to be from one; for before any plurality exists there must first be unity. Humans must therefore all agree that there is but one most simple wisdom whose power is infinite; and everyone, in explaining the intensity of this beauty, must discover that it is a supreme and terrible beauty.’

-Nicolas of Cusa

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“Spoken like a true Druid.”

“Three-Zero minutes this way, according to the book.”…

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Nine-Zero minutes later…

“We’re going to be late.”

“We’ll have to skip drinks and meet them at the restaurant.”

“At least we found the Druid.”

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“So now we’ve found him, what does he have to say for himself?”

“One-Six-Four, so Two or, One-Six-Five, Three?”

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No 3 (Light)

‘It is necessary for one who wants to attain understanding to raise the intellect above the meaning of words rather than to insist upon their properties which, in any case, cannot be properly adapted to such great mindful mysteries.

Intellectual knowledge, alone and unaided,

desires and exaggerates

the victory of words

and it is far from that

to God

who is our peace.’

– Nicolas of Cusa

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“Cusa, again, he seems to have an affinity with this place.”

“One can hardly blame him.”

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“It’s a nice spot for a circle, and there’s a smaller five stone ring further down.”

“Let’s do the shadow reading from there.”

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No 2 (Dark)

‘The relationship of our intellect to the truth is like that of a polygon to a circle: the resemblance to the circle grows with the multiplication of the angles of the polygon; but short of the polygon actually becoming a circle, no multiplication of its angles, even if it were infinite would make the polygon equal to the circle. It is therefore clear that all we know of truth is that the Absolute Truth, as it is, is beyond our grasp. The more mindfully we learn this lesson of ignorance, the closer we will draw to truth itself.’

– Nicolas of Cusa

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“It’s not possible.”

“What’s not possible?”

“To move from an excessively peaceful stone circle where a randomly chosen reading speaks of peace, and then move to a collection of stones arranged in a polygon and get a reading that talks about the relationship between a circle and a polygon.”

“It does seem a bit odd.”

“A bit odd?”

“At least we now know it is definitely working.”

“Next stop Borth-Y-Gest.”

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to be continued…