Category Archives: the epic

Pentacles and the Number Five – Death or the Goddess?

What a magical Five day! I was rereading the Da Vinci Code, and came to the chapter where the identity of the lost Grail is revealed  – it is the Divine Feminine, represented by Mary Magdalene – and Apples… and the number 5…

red crabapples

Red crabapples on our land at Kaiwaka

apples of eden blue neon knife

Blue Apple of Aeden showing the Applestar

I am also at the very point in my abridging of The Girl and the Guardian (Volume I of Apples of Aeden) where Korman the Guardian is captured and reunited with the Lady in the thorns, from where they will join in secret synergy and guide the land of Aeden, overrun by the Thornmen, back to the Balance.

It is also happens to be the day our son goes out with a girl – this being unusual news, and he being a broke musician Raewyn sent him $30. I thought no make it $55.50 – a luckier number I hope! So i sent $25.50. total $55.50 🙂

It ALSO happens to be International Women’s Day, as I just found out when I went online to write this.

This all got me thinking about my recent and ongoing research into the conspiracies of our culture in preparation for volume – you guessed it – FIVE, of the series Apples of Aeden (apples being of course extremely significant re the Goddess, since they contain a five-pointed star or pentacle in their core (from Kore the Goddess!). I had heard (in a Christian conspiracy YouTube video I think it was) that 555 is the most sacred number for the Wiccans – well that’s ok by me, but also that Hitler was obsessed with the number 555 – his Nazi party number was 555 (he was actually no. 55 but in their early days they put a 5 in front of their membership numbers to inflate them). UGH! This would make 5 and 55 AND 555 pretty evil, wouldn’t it?

But think of what the Nazis did with the revered ancient sun symbol – subverted it into the most potent symbol of evil that it is perhaps forever tainted.  So perhaps this is another example of the subversion and perversion of something good and sacred in the service of evil?

Intentionally and synchronistically my Apples of Aeden epic has been quite saturated with the numbers 5 and 555. The naming was via a dream in which a lady (Lady!) said Thank you for publishing My book, and I was looking at its cover, and though (as happens in dreams) I couldn’t read the title, in my head I heard the words ‘The Apples of Eden’. I was envied the lady her good title. She said goodbye, and I awoke (in my virulently anti-goddess brother-in-law’s house as it happens! a great irony from Her!) – and I remembered the title, and thought, ‘Wait, that lady in my dream was Barbara, an artist and gardener, not a writer! I can use the title!’ My brother co-creator of the epic and I had argued and tossed title ideas about for hours days before this, and given up in defeat. Not once did this title occur to us. But my friend and muse for the writing, Ian, had said, ‘I think you will get the title in a dream.’ I had laughed at this… When we returned to Kaiwaka, we went into Cafe Eutopia (of the Five Domes and the central goddess fountain!) and there was Ian, having just called in, bearing a paper bag with a present for me. Inside were two candles in the form of  red APPLES. Yes, incredible! But true, by the Lady!

So I also changed the Isle of Aeden to have FIVE arms like a starfish, (and on each arm a mountain with five peaks, plus on mountain with five peaks in the middle of the island).

 

vapaglim from map copy

The Ouvron, showing the Starfish Isle of Aeden

And added a bit more about the life-giving apples of Aeden (already in the books). When I had made these changes and printed a ‘final’ (yeah right) edition of volume one (The Girl and the Guardian – free as an ebook here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243499) I took it to the post office to weigh, to see what postage would cost. I grinned when I saw the readout: 555 grams. 🙂

FRONT cover Girl and guardian jpeg 19-06-08

This weighed 555 grams 🙂

 

More recently, when my good brother and co-creator of the epic whisked us away to Europe with him, the scheduled departure time was – you guessed it – 5:55 PM.  This is most significant now in hindsight because that trip inspired the new vision for Volume FIVE – it will be very much about Europe, the suppressed Goddess, and the return of the Balance to Earth.

Back to Hitler and the Christian conspiracy theorists. I googled 555 and Hitler to learn more. I verified that his party number WAS 555. Then I looked up the bible-numerology take on 5 and 555. It seems that 5 can be linked to Death in the Bible. This worried me a bit as a former Christian! So 5 three times is death death and more death, they reckon…

However, for me the three is the triple Goddess, sacred and not evil at all. Today I realized that the Christian has good reason to associate 5 with death for mythological reasons too: in the Hebrew version of the Goddess’s bestowing of the Fruit of Life from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, with Her serpent of wisdom, has been turned into an account of the Fall, which led to universal DEATH – and though the Bible doesn’t say so the fruit in question has traditionally been known as the APPLE – inside of which is the PENTACLE, the five seed-cavities in a star formation (cut an apples across the core and see what I mean – it’s beautiful). So Five = Apple = Death. Sinister isn’t it?  IF you buy the Bible version of events. If you see the Genesis account as a ‘dexterous’ ploy to disempower women for all time, then the truth would be the reverse: 5 = Apple = Life.  And of course the pentacle/pentagram aka the five-pointed star, is FULL of the ratio PHI – the ‘Golden Ratio’, in almost all of nature writ large, and small…. From the spirals of the galaxies to the sunflower to the proportions of the human body to… IE, it means LIFE!

The number of people (mainly? women) the official Western Church has tortured and killed to enforce their version of events and the Masculine Divine is variously estimated, but the Inquisition alone must put it in the millions. ( Their Mary Mother of God is an emasculated virgin substitute for, and subversion of, the triple Mother)  What a lot hangs from that apple tree! Which version is true? They can’t both be, can they? It is a fearful thing to go against two millenia of conditioning and consensus (and one’s own former beliefs) to say that the Bible version, not the suppressed ‘Pagan’ one, is the evil subversion, but I think I must side with the Goddess and the Balance, against both the Christians and the Nazis. (How ironic that such a jackbooted, violent, truth-suppressing, male-worshipping abomination as Nazism should have had as its leader a man whose number was FIVE FIVE FIVE!)

Happy International Women’s Day!

 

 

 

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The Passing of my Mother, and a Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

My mental finger has been hovering over the ‘reset button’ of my life as I approach the sobering age of sixty (On June 25th 2014). More so since my mother unexpectedly caught pneumonia and died last week, aged 92.

Leone harris funeral sheet  page two monday 2  june 2014

Such is the reality of all process – it is governed not by what has gone before, no matter how often, but by systems of cause and effect – 60 years with a mother, now suddenly no mother. The human body being what it is, and the Western diet, etc, this was not unlikely. The human psyche being what it is, it’s not surprising that it caught us all a bit by surprise. We were settling in for the longer haul, as she had stabilised and seemed quite perky. Raewyn and I were looking to try and buy a house in Whangarei, start a ‘Eutopian flat’, practicing the principles of Eutopia in the microcosm of a homely house, and taking turns with sisters Penny and Rose and brother John to visit mum every day until she turned 100 and beyond, if that was to be…

Now? Well the night she took a turn for the worse, I had begin moving my stuff into the bigger studio in the Quarry Arts Centre. Yesterday after the burial I completed that move. Now that we have sold the physical Eutopia in Kaiwaka, the Quarry is the closest thing to a stable manifestation of Eutopia (a ‘Good Place’) in my life. So we may stay on in Whangarei and keep doing Eutopian things at and around the Quarry, and buy that Eutopian house. I don’t know…

[Trivia alert!] Meanwhile here at my sister’s barn where we have lived since mum was in the rest home, we have a menagerie of one old cat Max, which younger son Robert brought back (originally 17 years ago found as an abandoned kitten by daughter Xanthe), Honey, Anna’s yappy doglet who kept waking Bruno her baby son; big dog Zoe which elder son Daniel left with us upon taking off to teach English in Kazakstan; and our own Poppy mother of Honey, also a bit of a barker. Last night Max climbed a painting ladder up into our garret and set Honey off barking hysterically. I staggered up and threw Honey out and shut the door. Cat feet padding across the bed alerted me to the cause of said barking. So I got up again and threw cat out, apologised to Honey and let her back in. Woke up a bit depressed, feeling very mortal, first day without a mum above ground. Took dogs for a walk, big dog Zoe got over-excited playing fetch and bit onto my hand as I held the stick up to throw it for her. Was thinking of doing some ferrocement work, begin the couch to put by the waterfall at the Quarry:

A vision of the Quarry Arts Centre, Whangarei, with domes on the high ledge. Painted in Gisborne October 2013, in acrylics on melamine-coated mdf I found dumped up the hill on reserve land. Photoshopped to make the sofa bigger!

Now I might get to do some painting before day is over.. if I get up the gumption – the market value of my art works is… unknown but approaching zero market cap, like me. I bought this painting, Dark House,  back when it surfaced on Trademe auction site. See it on my pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pin/173740498099294937/[/embed]

'Dark House' by Peter Harris c. 1970, labelled no. 5 from the Denby exhibition. Someone told me it was for sale again on Trademe and I bought it back - I don't remember who bought it originally, but it had ended up in the estate of a painting restorer in Auckland, and a trademe dealer bought it in ?March 2014. I paid $55.55 for it - a bargain at half the price! :)

As the only bidder, I got it for NZ$55.55 (I wanted to bid a figure that would strike awe in any other would-be bidder) .

Sigh… Good to have it back though. For me. And pretty good to think I still can pick up a brush and paint, just like 42 years ago when I painted it, even if left hand a bit sore from dog bite… Painting has always come easily to me, as has carving. Which is probably why I’ve mistrusted it and not done it full-time. Protestant work ethic, thanks a lot – NOT! So I mostly did ridiculous things with my talents, like make spinning wheels and photoframes and print other people’s books. Thanks to brother John, I have written some fiction books, about  three quarters of a million words I guess by now. But these too lie undiscovered, apart from the ebook volume one of the Apples of Aeden, at 200,000 words a bargain at $0.00 on smashwords. That one has rung up about 4,000 free downloads but no known reviews (I would have welcomed one star even, if only they had bothered to say something). and volumes 2-4 priced at $3.99 have combined sales of 360 copies. There goes 15 years of my life…

YET I am not now despondent.  Now I am free of any present lure to tow the line, sell out and prosper, I am quite joyfully resolved to write and paint and sculpt and start Eutopian flats or new systems of investing in the Flow, for ME, not for any protestant work ethic or other shoulds of any external kind.  (And Raewyn now knows it’s our only chance of anything like a living from my side of the partnership, and is resigned to peter the artist in a garret).

Why do I trust Me rather than these shoulds? Because Me is authentic, and external shoulds are not. Of course I do have internal shoulds, but they are of the living kind, authentic, first-hand, dynamic. So many millions of folk have died never having authentically lived past nine or so. I have some life left, lots of experience, many memories of wonder and creation, and much clearer focus now than 43 years ago when I set out as an ‘Artist’ off to Art School.  I could have begun then painting and sculpting and keeping the inner fires burning bright, but my fears of damnation if I should die without knowing the ‘meaning of life’ kept me from it. Once or twice it seemed the Empire of Sacred Shoulds seemed to have got hold of me for good, but I wriggled free, impoverished and bedraggled, but free, on the outside of the Great Wall which separates the beneficiaries of the Empire from those in outer darkness/wilderness/wasteland.

A painting inspired by a ?1970 visit to Limestone Island, Whangarei, with its ruined brick limeworks. Oil on canvas board, ?1970

Now I realize I should have stayed on the outside all along, built something there, until (as does happen) the walls opened up and accepted some of the outer ground I colonised for the majority on the Inside to enjoy. Because of course the Empire is the Status Quo, Robert Pirsig’s Static Quality, the realm of the tried and true, That Which Works (more or less), and we need it, directly or indirectly. In my philosophy it is the Purple Zone, and around it are the Dynamic Zones of Blue and Green, Yellow and Red, where the new new Thing is discovered, tried, tested and applied for the first time. The Bleeding Edge. That’s where people like me do their best work – sometimes their only work… It’s not so bad out here, if you know that’s where your lifespring is. And out here, age doesn’t matter so much. When you say Me, my Creation, my Work, my Bliss, you are just being the Child you always were. Become Yourself and do as you will, and all things will be full of life and energy, and light (adversities notwithstanding). Or bow your neck to the yoke of the Empire of Should, and all things become heavy, laborious, lifeless imitations of real Life (prosperity, security and wealth notwithstanding).

Thus spake Zarathustra/Pirsig/the Wizard of Eutopia/the Child Within.  Or as writer Gaiman says, whatever life throws at you, “Do good Art”. See the speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI

<iframe width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/ikAb-NYkseI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Well, I’ve inspired myself. The golden afternoon sun is shining through the garret window, and Raewyn is coming home soon. I hope she likes these magic beans I’ve traded the afternoon for. As for me, I think I’ll plan my first post-parental painting. An epitaph, maybe, set in the Quarry in the golden afternoon of my life. Sun, keep shining a little longer on all of us who dare to really live, and are willing to sell our last holy cow to do so…

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Tolkien, the Ring of Power, and Benzene

Well I don’t like to admit it, but I have a body too!

moe 4295 CROPPED

Subject to the usual ills, but also, like many sufferers, the  ills of this chemically saturated age. I’ve some nasty bouts I describe as ‘chemical hangovers‘, often from small exposures to solvents. A friend told me that her frequent migraines turned out to be related most of all to chemicals containing benzene. She said there was also an unspecified ‘spiritual dimension’ to this.

This got me thinking. My first thought was that it’s striking the structure of the benzene molecule is a ring. This was discovered, or dreamed, by the chemist Kekule one night in the symbolic form of a circle of snakes biting onto each other’s tails.

Ball-and-stick model of the hexahydroxybenzene...

Perhaps the Middle Earth ‘ONE RING’ or ‘Ring of Power’ of our time is the benzene molecule (part of the pertol mix I gather) and its nine ring-wraiths are the ‘infernal combustion engine’.  Tolkien always hated the motorcar… Did he know of the benzene ring?
So perhaps your bodily rejection of benzene is my friend’s deep knowing that modernism is making us all sick. And that so-called escapism of fantasy is pointing us to the only way out of the American– no that’s not fair – WESTERN – dream/ nightmare of endless expansion and unlimited rapid travel.

This rings true for me anyway- even though I love invention and enterprise. Perhaps I am more like saruman than I realized,  and that’s why I’ve been so conflicted  in my eutopianism and fantasy. And so attacked by chemical poisoning, like my friend who also writes fantasy. (There’s a reason why most fantasies are set in a pre-industrial age: that is the most romantic, and whatever evils it contains, they are somehow part of the fabric of life, not mechanical and alien to our natural evolved organic being. Science fiction is the principal instrument for wrestling with the impact of the machine on our being; fantasy is the vehicle for exploration of a oneness with nature and natural beauty and yes of course magic, we are in danger of losing touch with altogether.)

I too was part of the Benzene Dream, working like a maniac in a ‘dark satanic mill’ of my own construction, for the purpose of unlimited production of photoframes for the masses, delivered worldwide by the infernal combustion machine. Now I mostly write fantasy, and hope the benzene ring doesn’t destroy us all before we come to our senses…

Strangely, my own fantasy, Apples of Aeden, (free volume one ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243499  has an enemy, the Aghmaath, whose ‘logo’ is a hexagonal ring of scythes and a snake biting its tail:

BLACK simple spinning scythes 290408 copy

This was not intentional. But it fits. The Aghmaath quest is to put an end to life and the ‘wheel of striving’, the negative side of which the benzene ring in its toxicity symbolises so well. I trust there is a middle way between the mad pursuit of the benzene-fueled good life, and the pessimism of the misanthropic philosopher Schopenhauer.  If there is, its outlines are at least glimpsed  in the invented realms of (serious) fantasy. So, everybody should read fantasy! It’s not escapism, as Tolkien would say there are different types of escape. The ‘escapism’ of high fantasy  could just show us the way out of the 21st Century lunatic asylum.

 

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Vitruvian pair carved

It hasn’t been a month?! it has. I have been nup to more than just carving this, but it did take quite a long time. I ended up making in two pieces, and the boat rocks if on a smooth surface… It’s a kind of meditation on the Balance now…

stretched vitruvians 19 07 13 copy

 

This is a picture of the wax model only. It’s actually blue wax, but in photoshop I found the inverted image looked quite like bronze. It’s more detailed than it looks here too. The vitruvian circle has the words Love Beauty Truth Freedom engraved on the underside in reverse so it acts as a stamp. Ship is hollow so small items can be put in it. The little figure in the bows represents the pharithi, the little folk who are sailing from Aeden seeking Avalon, in Volume IV of the Apples of Aeden. (Now available as ebook, first edition/draft, at smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320474 The couple represents Korman and the Lady, with korman holding the Heartstone aloft.

 

Yet to be cast in bronze, and a mould made for more castings. At about 100mm by 110 it’s bigger than the jewellery pieces, and the cost quoted by the jewellery castings place sent me scurrying back home to ‘think about it.’ I found another foundry – a one man band and he estimated a lower price, so I will trundle down to south auckland when i can and meet the man at his little foundry (Flux Studio). He can do bigger pieces too… hmm. Though I dont like the idea of all that copper etc just sitting in an artwork. It’s liable to be melted down one day for cannon, like some renaissance bronzes were… and countless aztec gold and silver artworks of course.

So, if you find yourself coveting a bronze of the vitruvian Pair for your desk or bedside, email me, pay a modest sum, to be sorted,  and I can get the mould. Ok, first one i will do for NZ$149/US $119 plus postage…  After that depending on cost to get cast, probably US$279

 

 

 

 

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Vitruvian Human

This may be a more comfortable name for them – wo-man,  sheman etc are all perhaps a bit odd or biased one way or another… So, here they are photoshopped to look like… well, like the vision in my mind, more or less… The sculpture won’t have the glow, unless at night…

sheman vitruvian drawing facing inward SYMMETRICAL 19 06 13 copy

 

The little people on the woman are (from volume iv of the Apples of Aeden) the refugee fairies of Aeden, who get taken on the ship to eastern lands, seeking Avalon.  see https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320474

The woman spreads her arms to the horizon, loving all the earth, while the man reaches up and makes contact with heaven, in the form of the diamond World, and the heartstone which ascended.

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