Snake Totem

This morning whilst out playing with the camera I came across this, a recently shed snakeskin.

This is the fourth encounter of a snake in the garden, and it comes, probably, from a snake not long out of hibernation. We also have three slow worms and a salamander. The skin is less than twenty metres from where I am now sat, out on the lawn just uphill of all the blossom.

Snakes and dragons get a bad press from the church.

Having been a child in outback Australia and in Zambia, close encounters of a snake like kind are not new. I very nearly ran over a black mamba with my bicycle. It was crossing the path in front of me, and I missed its tail by inches. In Australia aged 5-9 I used to bring snakeskins which I found in the dry creek or bush home to my mother. This freaked her a little.

Here is something on the snake totem from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.

Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration

There is a human tendency to read things verbatim or dead letter or face value only. The extent to which one has this tendency depends on personal preference and psychological orientation.  To some extent educational training plays a role too. As an INFJ with dominant introverted intuition, I tend to miss the dead letter interpretation on occasion, this is because I am nearly always looking for deeper meaning and a metaphor can provide for me what might take several paragraphs of descriptive text to explain.

It amuses me slightly to image someone working with 20 pounds of antimony in a furnace in his shed. One of the main criticisms people have of the bible stems from an insistence on a dead letter interpretation. People read “the gospel” in a dead letter way. I have speculated that given when it was written the vast majority were illiterate, it is in fact full of metaphors and other narrative devices. People like to argue the toss and nit-pick about their own personal face value interpretation of text.

The Tibetan describes the first three initiations as Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration. This is a very alchemical way of explaining. Alchemy to my eyes is not trying to turn base metal into gold, rather it is about transmuting one’s shortcomings into a more helpful set of behaviours. Mares says that the warrior’s path is a path of the three Ts as above. If you look at the degree of change implicit in the language, it starts small and gets bigger.

The alchemical transmutation changes one’s beingness, the transfiguration transfigures which sounds like a whole order of magnitude more radical. Within the scheme of the Tibetan, the third initiation is considered the first “proper” initiation and is indicative of final liberation. After the third it is only a few more lifetimes before the causal vehicle is “blown out”.

Given that human minds are trained in school to compare and contrast, to use ratioing or so-called rational mind we are trained to pick holes in things, to find fault. Searching for holism is discouraged and my even be seen as wishy-washy. We are trained to justify our answers, this tendency for justification has allowed humanity to participate in some truly heinous acts.  

{Everyone is doing it, I was only following orders, there is a precedent.}

I can read alchemical texts from a basis of a degree level understanding of modern {relatively now} chemistry and the periodic table. I don’t imagine myself ever trying some of the frankly dangerous sounding experiments. If one reads Hermetica, attributed to Hermes Trimegistus there is a whole lot of sense in parts. It can be enjoyable to read things and not want to argue the toss and be “right”. Just let it flow over and enjoy someone else’s train of thought.

One of the first things to transmute is to change closed, dogmatic, I am right mind to a more open enquiring and non-concluding mind. There does not have to be a conclusion. This goes against everything we are taught in school. There must be a summing up and a conclusion.

Why?

Explain to me why there must be a conclusion, explain to me why there must be a right answer. Justify your answer.

The Dweller on the Threshold

In the deadly nightshade of digitalis dreams

the pupils closed so atom tight

n’er to let a single photon pass

to live a life in camera obscura

 

Where nefarious necrophiliacs line all the tombs

to languish lurid in gloom and shadow

each sepulchre tainted by the ochre fading sheath

which sheds the mamba skin scales

both as autumn leaf and lost leper’s fingers

 

Blessed with those primordial cataracts

in the labyrinth subterranean tunnels

ever to walk the fateful string in the penumbra

lest the retinas are scarred by even faintest light

 

By chance the weary Dweller stumbles on

tripping toe-wise onto some carved out stairs

harsh cut deep and in the cavernous wall

a sense of archway, doorway, door

how did he sense the Angel’s spoor?

 

The umbilicus of the vampire darkness

sucks the belly blood fast from him

the succubus’ pull of the old familiar

whispers warnings close his ear

“Step not beyond your cloying fear!!”

 

Sweet honey wafts winsome in the wind

borne hummingbird happy on busy wings

where golden dapples the translucent,

faint feathers of a mountain stream trickle

far from the land of morbid doom and her sickle

 

One more step through that golden gate

and the snap of tripwire seals his fate

a trumpet calls the amphorae of the Gods,

the pilgrim takes a diamond dusting shower

he washes wet in radiance of an infinite hour

 

Far beyond the spectrum of man’s open eyes

he feels that subtle shine of wisdom wise

soothed and healed and now soothed again

he hangs for aeons in the gap between

for dark he knows and light is as yet, unseen

 

The Dweller takes yet more a single pace

to earn the crown of olives, for his race

his heart now facets rainbow light delight

and into the utter radiance quiet easy strolls

the magma of white magnificence does him, now enfold

 

The mellifluous melody of ecstatic shining white

washes the cobwebs and decay of the Lord of night.

He the Dweller is yet a boatman too

he has been both vessel and its crew

between the clashing rocks, the portal

has squeezed him self, a simple mortal

 

Yet further the now enlivened Soul

he marches onwards to his goal

in the pure and white, white radiant stream

at last he has fulfilled his dreams.

The clear-spring clarity now does him fill

he has gained this by both his act and his will

 

Bows before the triumphant triangle, golden ore

he waits as the rod strikes a new lightning sight

it sears his being deep into his very abstract core.

He has earned this most rare and Holy rite

the Rod of Power him has total changed

and all his atoms are most re-arranged.

 

There is The sacred emanation font

where source of stream it can be found

There is not much that needs or wants

for he has sought the simple and the sound

his heart hears what others fail to see

the only block knows he now to ever be

 

The Dweller was always him

and he had sat on the Threshold for,

 … … an endless

endless

… … …eternity.