‘Setting riddles is much easier than solving them.’
… “What a strange planet. Where I come from people solve three riddles every morning before sitting down to first breakfast.”
The ‘High School’ Solution…
The clue in the poem is that the poem as a whole does not make sense. The individual lines make sense but the sense of the individual lines is not picked up by successive lines and does not follow through to the end of the poem.
Also, we may notice that two of the lines are identical.
The lines alone then are significant and as students of calligraphy will be aware initial words and especially letters are often deemed to be most important because the start of anything inevitably colours its conclusion.
The first words of each line then with letters emboldened.
Dark… About… Lost… Great… Ever… Traversing… Yonder
Back… After… Yonder.
Dalgety Bay is in Scotland, or as we prefer North Albion.
The story of our sojourn there is told in, Lands of Exile: But ‘n’ Ben.
Dark the frame and dark the spur
About the light which shines over there.
Lost to memory, lost to time
Good and great cut down in their prime.
Ever the longing, we yearn to know
Traversing the ‘now’ via ebb and flow.
Yonder, the stars circuit their course.
Back to silence, back to still
After we’ve been and had our fill.
Yonder, the stars circuit their course.
Where were we?
“It’s got a ‘wen’ in it!”
And if we had not already twigged
that really should have clinched it!
“How are they pronouncing it anyway?”
“‘Bosk-a-Noon’ – ‘The House of the Elder-Tree.'”
“They’re ignoring the ‘wen-bit’ then.”
“Or, we could just call it hidden.”
“How do they do that?”
“Make a stone that size disappear.”
“Well, at least it’s not yet started walking…”
By the time we left, though,
all the stones in the circle had begun,
what we call, ‘morphing’…
And somewhere a horn was sounding.
“If I didn’t know better,
I’d say the Wild Hunt was abroad.”
Approaching Avebury in this way we got to side-step the crowds.
Most of whom had been unceremoniously penned into the Red Lion.
But it is not about meticulous planning.
It is about listening.
And following ‘directives’…
…”The why, is always the same.”
“In order to connect, or to make whole?”
“And in order to then participate in that wholeness.”
“Which is connection.”
“They call Glastonbury England’s ‘holiest erthe’.”
“Perhaps that is why?”
“Today, we look up to the night sky, and wonder, and dream of perfection.”
“Or, at least, some of us do.”
“Perhaps, there was a time when, at certain junctures in the sacred year, to participate in that perfection was just a days walk away?”
“Cadbury Castle is on the ‘line’ anyway.”
“Which is possibly why we felt drawn here in the first place.”
“Oh, and Burrowbridge Mump.”
“Which just leaves Glastonbury Tor which, on a clear day, is visible from Cadbury Castle…”
“And which, given that time is now pressing, means we can go straight to Avebury.”
“Isn’t time always pressing?”
“If there’s half a chance of getting to Avebury…”
‘For God created man immortal, and made him in the image of his own eternity.’
– The ‘Twentieth’ Leaf
The preceding image we had to own did not seem to us particularly god-like.
We turned the leaf:
The Twenty-First Leaf
…Although that description most definitely did.
Finally we came to the last leaf of the little gold-plated book.
It did not come before time.
Already a golden dawn was beginning to blaze through the blinds of our study window.
The Twenty-Second Leaf looked like this:
We walked to our bedroom in a daze, collapsed on the bed, and fell into a fitful sleep.
We dreamed of two rooms the exact reverse of each other.
One was in shadow.
The other was lit.
We awoke around Noon.
We walked into the living room to find the window open and the little golden book gone.
We fell to our knees and sobbed.
On the study desk were our rough copies of the material we had found in the book.
How had she done it?
Where had she been?
And why didn’t she use the door?
The door may be watched, came the answer.
We remembered our dream and walked back into the bedroom.
We opened one of the mirrored doors to our wardrobe.
There on the floor lay a leaf from the little golden book.
Was it ‘the missing leaf’?
If it was, it was not what we were expecting.
The Twenty-Third Leaf:
On the back was a seal:
‘…then a triangle and finally a circle……’
– The ‘Eighteenth’ Leaf.
…This to our mind pretty much makes the earth feminine and the moon masculine which we expect also makes the sun feminine and the star behind the sun masculine. And that is pretty much how the Egyptian’s had it.
We surmise that at this point there maybe at least one missing leaf to the book delineating in much more detail the geometries of earth and moon.
…But what of the sun?
We turned the ‘Eighteenth’ Leaf…
‘…Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abides alone…’
The ‘Nineteenth’ Leaf
Which we must assume is referring to the sun.
We turned the ‘Nineteenth’ Leaf aware somewhere in the recesses of our overstretched brain that the moon and sun cycles are conjoint in their nineteenth year.
The ‘Twentieth’ Leaf
‘…But if it dies it brings forth much fruit.’
…Which leaf, incidentally, concludes the geometric designs contained in the book.
The ‘Twenty-First’ Leaf introduced a picture of sorts which to us again appeared to echo some of the Egyptian ideas:
…The ‘Sixteenth’ and ‘Seventeenth’ Leaves.
‘…From a man and a woman make a circle…’
‘…And then a square…’
We thought again of The Officers Of Law who appeared to see the girl as a man?
‘The Spirit as Inner Fire is ‘Agni’ for the Vedic and ‘Hermes’ for the Greek.
The vessel defines the content which is a perception.
Make the vessel transparent in order to ‘see’ clearly.’
Clearly, this sequence of directions related to a famous alchemical engraving. We dashed to our library…
‘The Flight of Atalanta’ by Michael Maier…
‘The squaring of the circle represents a marriage of opposites. It can be accomplished in two ways, by area or perimeter. The circle is a symbol of the eternal element in creation, whilst the square represents solid matter and human works… The largest squared circle in the natural world is the earth and moon. Earth’s mean radius is 3960 miles and the Moon’s is 1080 miles which makes 5040 miles. With a radius of 5040 the circumference of any sublunary circle is 316180 miles, which is the same as the perimeter of any square containing the earth.’
Blimey, they’re all ‘nines’ save the last which is a ‘one’.
We smile, and then consider that it seems to us somewhat incredible that the planetary bodies should possess such accurate geometric proportions by accident.
‘This combination of heaven and earth, or spirit and matter, is a founding pattern in sacred temples from time immemorial the world over.’
The ‘Fifteenth’ Leaf.
‘I am the rose of Sharon as the Lily among thorns
so is my love among the daughters.’
– Song of Songs 2:1
In our mind’s eye we saw her:
She was deep in the earth…
…But far deeper than the deepest imaginable depth.
She moved in a Sanctum of Silence hewn from Living, Breathing Stone.
And she was three:
One was Movement and transcribed the geometric figures in air…
One was Heart and recited the formula with utmost precision of tone…
One was Mind and meditated on all that occurred.
A Fourth there was which oversaw each station and which also took her form.
And what a form it was:
A form transfigured by each Atu…
We were again minded of our studies:
THE GREAT ESCAPE
A man is tasked with liberating prisoners.
He finds them deluded.
Their history is prison history, their lives are prison lives.
They think and act accordingly.
Instead of hoarding bread they mould it into dominoes and play games with it.
The rats in prison are treated as pets instead of being trained to communicate with the outside world.
Alcohol is drunk in order to produce hallucinations rather than drug the guards…
The prisoners confuse common words…
‘Provisions’ to them means prison-food…
‘Journey’ means walking to and from cell blocks…
‘Escape’ means avoiding punishment…
When their would-be liberator says, ‘we need provisions for our escape to the outside world,’ he sounds like a madman.
To the inmates their prison is the world.
The liberator dies without accomplishing his task.
Those who tried to understand his words turn them into a prison cult and find questions for the next liberator who comes to set them free…
Nonetheless, occasionally there are some prisoners who escape.
– A Sufi Parable
Is that what she was?
Was she an ‘Escapee’?
The Rose of Sharon…
What did it mean?