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The Janyati and the Elements

elementsThe seven great Janyati, or angels, preside over all aspects of the universe.

One of the arithmetical symbolisms concerning the number seven is its representing the union of the spiritual number 3 and the material number 4.

According to this symbolism, the seven Janyatic Principles govern the elements as follows:

Sai Sushuri: Water
Sai Vikhe: Fire
Sai Thame: Earth
Sai Mati: Air

Aethyr, being the principle from which all four material elements derive, is governed by the three Janyatic Principle which, in this symbolism, represent the Spirit. The two Luminaries, the Sun and Moon, as we have often noted, are types of the Mother and Daughter, while Sai Rhave, the Dark Planet, represents, according to this scheme, the Dark Mother who is unknowable to us and into whom the manifest cosmos will return at the end of time. Thus, from the point of view of material manifestation, She may be associated, like Sai Rhave, in a certain sense with old age and death, while from the spiritual perspective, She represents enlightenment and liberation from the Wheel of Werde.
triquetra-circle-interlaced
So, we may continue our schematization with:

Sai Raya }
Sai Candre }  Aethyr
Sai Rhave }

It is important to remember that both aspects of this schema do represent only a particular schematization. It has value for some purposes but it should not be taken to over-literal extremes. It is an error to say that “Sai Vikhë is the Janya of fire” for example (the Janya of fire is actually Sai Annya). To say that water belongs in some senses to Sai Sushuri is correct, but in the Eastern schema, Sai Sushuri’s element is gold, while water belongs to Sai Mati.

It would be even more wrong to say Sai Rhavë is the Dark Mother or Sai Candrë is the Daughter. The Daughter does, from one perspective, represent the Lunar aspect of Dea, but one should beware of an over-formulaic interpretation.

None of this is to dilute the value of what has already been said, but it is important to warn against heavy-handed and over-literalistic and over-systematizing interpretations into which West Tellurians can be prone to fall.

With that proviso, the three/four division of the Janyati is of immense value, especially from the Filianic perspective.

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For more about the Janyati, see The Seven Great Angels

 

 

Beauty and Civilization

beauty-and-civilizationModern scholarship, often to its own surprise and consternation, finds itself continually making discoveries that undermine the evolutionist prejudices with which it approaches its task, and confirm again and again the wisdom handed down from the earliest times: that Primordial Maid represented not a lower, but an immeasurably higher state of humanity, and that her increasing involvement with the world of matter, the progressive “consolidation” of herself and her environment, while leading to ever greater developments on the horizontal plane — from language to art, from art to cities — was bought at the cost of a steady decline on the highest plane of all: that of pure Intellect and spiritual vision.

But let us recall that in these relatively early times — let us say, the period of maid fully acclimatized on earth in the first Silver Age cities — we are still speaking of a state of spiritual refinement, of subtlety and beauty almost inconceivable from our position toward the dark end of the historical cycle. The life of maid, as all traditions agree, was much longer than the hundred years or less enjoyed by the people of the Iron Age, and her wisdom, though descended from its primordial pinnacle was yet majestic. Her vision, while now fixed upon “things” rather than the Principle, was far subtler than ours, seeing always, though at an ever lower level, the immaterial essences behind material manifestation. Much of what later ages achieved by material force, she accomplished by subtle means that a later age might call “magic”; and the essential harmony of her being with nature as a whole (being at one with the essence behind it) allowed her to live with but minimal “struggle for existence” and great concentration upon the higher things.

What might strike a modern visitor most about life in these early times would be its beauty — especially if she were enabled, as the people of those times were, to see the subtle forms as well as the outward physical shell of such a civilization. Beauty has always been considered primarily a feminine quality, and as the patriarchal age progressed has been more and more relegated to the position of an inessential and trivial part of life: increasingly the first thing to be sacrificed when “serious” practical or economic considerations conflicted with it, yet, until very recently, preserved carefully and at times fiercely by the female sex, in her surroundings, her home and her personal appearance.

Plato, so often the spokesman for the traditional consciousness to the early patriarchal West, by no means thought beauty trivial or unimportant. He used to kalon — the Beautiful — as a term for the Absolute, expounding the primordial knowledge that all earthly beauty is such only because it participates in the absolute Beauty of the Divine. Beauty is not, as the modern dogma would have it, a mere subjective product of the human brain, but a universal quality that predates the very existence of earthly humanity.

Beauty is the mark of Essence or Form. Only insofar as the Essences or Archetypes are imperfectly reflected in matter can there ever be ugliness in this world, and above this material world, ugliness cannot exist. To make life beautiful is to bring it into conformity with its spiritual Source.

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For the full article see: Satya Yuga to Kali Yuga: Gold to Iron — the True Pattern of History

The Tongue of Angels

Clemence IsaureIthelya was a very famous Queen of Caere and the subject of a long and famous poem in the high rhetorical style that is typical of much older Herthelan poetry. We are fortunate enough to have a snippet from the poem (frustratingly out of context) in the English-language style that has been taken to represent Ithelic meter (the meter of the Ithelya and many other works). We believe that this is not just an attempted reproduction but is a kind of direct equivalent, so it is an important treasure for us.

To clarify the use of “rhetorical” in this context, we need to explain a concept that is unfamiliar in modern west Telluria, and to do that I think the simplest way is to call in a Tellurian traditionalist on the subject:

“Rhetoric,” of which the Greek original means skill in public speaking, implies, on the other hand, a theory of art as the effective expression of theses. There is a very wide difference between what is said for effect, and what is said or made to be effective, and must work, or would not have been worth saying or making. It is true that there is a so-called rhetoric of the production of “effects,” just as there is a so-called poetry that consists only of emotive words, and a sort of painting that is merely spectacular; but this kind of eloquence that makes use of figures for their own sake, or merely to display the artist, or to betray the truth in courts of law, is not properly a rhetoric, but a sophistic, or art of flattery. By “rhetoric” we mean, with Plato and Aristotle, “the art of giving effectiveness to truth.” My thesis will be, then, that if we propose to use or understand any works of art (with the possible exception of contemporary works, which may be “unintelligible”), we ought to abandon the term “aesthetic” in its present application and return to “rhetoric,” Quintilian’s “bene dicendi scientia” [“art of speaking well” – Ed. trans.]

Ananda Coomaraswamy, “A Figure of Speech or a Figure of Thought”

This is precisely what we mean when we speak of the “high rhetorical” style. Rhetoric is “the art of giving effectiveness to truth”. It is the means of engaging, at a deep level, the heart and mind of maid in the reception of truth.

The verse-form most associated with high rhetoric in Sai Herthe is called Ithelic verse from the Ithelia or Ithelya (pronounced ee-thell-ya). Ithelic meter is very important because it derives from Scripture and is the basis of a lot of Herthelan literature.

The meter itself is a five-beat structure, and in the most usual Herthelan style, alternates chelanic with melinic line-endings. A melinic ending is on a stressed syllable, while a chelanic ending has one unstressed syllable after the last stressed one.

While the meter has five beats, like Iambic Pentameter (the meter Shakespeare uses for the blank verse in the plays), it is unlike Iambic Pentameter in that there are two unstressed syllables between each stress rather than one, making the lines quite a bit longer.

In some kinds of verse, extra weak syllables between beats can give the lines a light and “skipping” quality, but in Ithelic meter, when well written, they do something rather special, giving the lines a “lucid complexity”, a style that can only be translated into English as “rhetorical” (in the true meaning of the term explained above). In the Motherland it is called (hyperbolically, of course) “the tongue of angels”, because it is seen as expressing truth in the most beautiful and elegant way possible — and therefore in the most effective way possible.

It is said that in the Golden Age all maids spoke in verse or in song. Their language was closer to the angelic language. The Primordial Word (from which all language derives) and the Primordial Note (from which all music derives) are ultimately one and the same, and it is from them that all manifestation derives — for the True Names of things are not other than the things themselves, and the relations between things are not other than the Celestial Music. So certainly the Herthelan original of Ithelic verse is considered not just beautiful and truthful, but sacred in itself. We find it (and certain other meters) in Scripture, as is discussed here.

For now, let us look at the meter itself.

The first two lines of our fragment (spoken by Ithelya’s mother, Queen Ehrejene) are as follows (I am showing the beat pattern below them):

Welcome thee Daughter, and enter thee close to our presence,

/../../../../.

Speak freely the words that thy heart has engaged thee to say.

./../../../../

Note that the first line has a chelanic ending and the second a melinic ending (it is traditionally that way around).

Note also that while each line has five beats with two unstressed syllables between each, the first line begins on the first beat, while the second has one unstressed syllable before the first beat. This is something that can confuse those unfamiliar with the meter. The first beat can be preceded by one, or two unstressed syllables, or by none. This does not affect the structure of the meter, though it can mean one has to work out how a particular line should be read (I find this may happen once every 20 or 30 lines — a more experienced reader would rarely or never have this problem and a less experienced one might have more difficulty at first).

Let us take another two lines:

What is there more to be said, O most wise among childer?

/../../../../.


All I should teach thee is by thee already beknown.

/../../../../

Alternate chelanic and melinic again (of course). Both lines begin on the stress, but note that — from the standpoint of the meter — the second line could have been:

All the things I should teach thee are by thee already beknown.

../../../../../

The line here is two syllables longer, but the two unstressed syllables before the first beat do not affect the meter. Now in fact there are reasons why the original is a better line. The stress is thrown on “all” rather than “things”, which is better rhetorically, and the two initial stresses give force to these lines, which are characterized by a strong and simple question. Also we will find that the pattern of strong and weaker beginnings are part of the music or rhetorical pattern of the poem — but this is a subtle matter.

What is important now is to understand that metrically the two versions of the line are equivalent, and either form (as well as the one between them with only one unstressed syllable preceding the first beat) can and will be used in Ithelic verse.

And now, since you have sat so patiently through my ungainly explanations, you shall have a reward. Here is the fragment of the Ithelya. See if you can read it aloud with the proper rhythm:

Ehrejene: Welcome thee, Daughter, and enter thee close to our presence,
Speak freely the words that thy heart has engaged thee to say.

Ithelya: What is to say, shining Sun, that is not said already?
Or what words of mine can recolor the hue of thy heart?

Ehrejene: Speak you again, good my child, of these wearisome matters?
Wherefore come you nigh the great throne but to trouble me thus?
Are they not settled and done, O most radiant Daughter?
And wherefore should the Child seek to color the heart of the Rayin?
Should not the heart of the Rayin be steadfast and unchanging?
Should it not weather the storm-winds, withstand the high flood?
Alter not in its bearing by even the breadth of a finger?
Alter not though a Child may weep tears that shall call forth her own?

Ithelya: All you say is most true, O most royal and radiant Mother.
For the words of the Rayin are like Scripture writ down in a book,
And whoso shall alter the book hath forsaken the pathway,
The pathway that leadeth the soul into radiant light.

Ehrejene: What is there more to be said, O most wise among childer?
All I should teach thee is by thee already beknown.
Go then thy ways and let peace ever cradle thy spirit,
Thy turbulent spirit that troubles herself without cause.
Go then thy ways, or yet better, remain with thy mother,
With thy Mother that loveth thee near; and disturb not the Rayin.

Ithelya: To my Mother most lief will I fly, like a bird at the even;
Like a bird that is young and whose small wings do tire from long flight;
Like a bird that hath held herself up on the wind’s mighty stairway,
Hath held herself up by a strength she doth scarcely possess.
To my Mother most lief will I come when my long flight is ended,
And that it were ended betimes doth my heart most desire,
Yet desireth in vain, for still must I bear myself upward,
Ever up must I climb to the radiant feet of the Rayin.

Ehrejene: O, Ithelie, my Child—

Ithelya:                          no, I pray thee, break not my flight’s rhythm,
For it cometh not easy, this scaling the wind’s subtle thread;
Neither call me thy Child, for I speak to thee not as a Daughter:
I speak to thee now as a Princess may speak to the Rayin.
O, most far-raying Sun, ’tis the Moon that has enter’d thy presence,
Who would tell thee of what she hath seen by her own lesser light.
For the words of the Rayin are like Scripture inscrib’d on a tablet,
And whoso shall change the least jot of them, surely she sins,
All these things know I well, and it needeth no Rani to teach me
For the Scripture is sure and eternal — but not so the Scribe.
The Scribe is a right goodly maid that is true to her calling,
Yet her finger may slip: and the light, may it not fail her eye?
And the Rayin, at the last, is a Scribe; and the words she declaimeth,
Are they not copied from those that are written on high?

Ehrejene: Say on then, Princess, and tell us what means this oration,
What is this light from the Moon that may darken the Sun?

Ithelya: Darken the Sun? O, my Lady, thy jesting words chill me,
For they may hold a truth far more dreadful and dark than you deem.

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For a description and analysis of the use of Ithelic meter in Scripture see:

Filianic Scriptures: A Look at Their Music

The Meaning of Gesture

In Sai Herthe, as in all traditional cultures, the body is seen as microcosmos — the cosmos in miniature — with the interconnexions between the Great Body of the world, the small body of an individual maid and the body as a general, as opposed to an individual, phenomenon being a fundamental element in our understanding of each.

The heart is the Solar center in maid, as the Sun is in the cosmos. The chest, by extension, refers to the heart, and also to the lungs, which are the source of breath — another aspect of the spirit (re-spir-ation is from the same word as spiritus).

The head is the lunar center — so the light of reason is the reflected light of the solar Intellect, whose home in maid is the heart.

To touch first the forehead and then the chest is an in-gathering gesture, bringing exterior things (represented by the head) back to their true center in the heart. It can be made in significance of receiving a teaching or a reprimand, thus it can also be a sign of humility. It can be made to acknowledge and center ourselves in the Higher reality, or to show respect — gathering oneself in from the fragmented and peripheral world of the head to the still and Essential world of the heart.

Although in late western Telluria the heart has been taken as a (very loose) symbol for the emotions (so “heart vs head” means “reason vs emotion”), in Sai Herthe this is not the case. The heart is the center of the Spirit, and thus of Pure Intellect. It is also the center of Pure Love — first Divine Love and then its true reflection in human love. But it is not the center of emotional impulses and passions. That is the stomach.

There is also an inverse form of this gesture, touching first the chest and then the forehead, and then opening the hand in a “giving” or “indicating” gesture. This is the “outward” gesture and is one of generosity. It might, for example, be used when inviting someone into one’s house. Its implication is “from my innermost being, through my exterior faculties, to you”.

The Herthelan salute touches either the left shoulder or the left side of the chest (there are many variants on the salute — not random — each military or other group using it will have its own strictly-observed form). Nonetheless, the reference is to the heart (which is on the left side) and to the shoulder or arm (which is the instrument of action).

jaunty-saluteIt does not seem insignificant that the (relatively late) Tellurian salute should touch the head, which is the center of lunar reason, which in turn is the focus of the rationalist revolution which ushered in the rajasic age in West Telluria. The salute to the head is known in Sai Herthe, as are some other salutes used in different places and circumstances. The salute to the head generally has the effect of being jauntier and less formal than the standard salute, though there are a few contexts in which it is officially used.

Simple Devotions

One way to Dea is the Path of Love or Devotion, in contrast to the Path of Light, that is, of knowledge or intellectual contemplation.

Starting on the Path of Devotion could not be easier. Our Celestial Mother, like every mother, is always ready to accept the love of Her children.

It is good if you have a picture or a statue of Her. It should be one that you find attractive. One that speaks to you of Her love and beauty. It might be a picture of Mahalakshmi, or a statue of Mother Mary. It might be a picture of Kwan Yin. You might wish to feel the protection of Dea in her mighty form as Sri Durga. Whatever form you love, choose that. Then you can look upon Her form when you talk to Her.

It is traditional also to bring Her gifts. Light candles before Her; burn a little incense. Once you have your picture or statue of Her and have placed some candles and perhaps an incense burner before it, you already have your first Shrine. If you can, it is nice to bring fresh flowers to the shrine and offer them to Dea.

These are very simple things, but simple love always pleases our Mother. Say good morning to Her when you arise and bid Her goodnight when you go to bed. These are the elementary courtesies that a child pays to her mother. It is also considered proper in many circles to bow when you approach Her image or when you pass it.

Another common practice is to offer food to Her before eating it. This is something like saying a simple grace, but the difference is that instead of merely thanking Her for Her bounty, we are giving the food to Her. It is said that she consumes the true essence of the food and that we eat Her leavings, which is the material part of the food. But by Her eating it, the food is blessed and we ourselves taste something of its true essence, which our worldly tongues are unable to do.

These are some simple practices that will start you on the Path of Devotion. If they become part of your life, you will be a devotee of Dea.

Music in Novarya


Answering the question: is there such a thing as “electronic” music in the Motherland, in Novarya particularly?

That is an interesting question. I believe the answer very broadly would be “yes”, in that Novaryani (and others) enjoy experimentation of various kinds. I think “electronic music” in the sense (not the style, just the sense) meant by Tellurians might be somewhat old-fashioned by now. Information-technics have moved on a long way from where Telluria is and “electronic music” in that sense seems a little like pixel art — something that is close to the raw limitations of systems in their relatively early stages.

In Goldenhead, Adelini-chei (in the Old Imperial Café scene) was using her personal ordinator system (which has no screens or speakers or any other visible apparatus, but sends messages directly to the visual and audial areas of the brain) to manipulate a musical score. Interestingly, this was also visible to Therana-chei. Such systems are not restricted to an individual, but can be as “open” or “closed” as one wishes to make them.

In fact, her score was intended to be played with physical instruments, but sound itself could have been manipulated rather than the visual representation of sound, and music of this kind (direct sound-perception manipulation) is certainly made and can be compiled into actual recorded sound as required. There are many forms of aethyr-music (using sounds that do not occur in nature) of this kind.

Aethyr-music is, I think, akin to what it is termed. Words like “digital” and “electronic” would sound very old-fashioned and clunky. I am also not sure they were ever used except in technical contexts — there is much less of a tendency to let “trade jargon” become common speech (a surprising number of English idioms are printers’ jargon – such as “cliché” and “out of sorts”).

Aethyr is, of course somewhat misusing a word that has a specific and entirely non-material meaning (even the most rarefied technics are, of course, material). However, something along those lines — but more clearly differentiated — is what is used, I believe.

Interestingly, Andelini, who had some very radical* ideas about music, nonetheless did restrict herself to physical instruments, despite clearly having the apparatus and expertise not to. Possibly she felt that the Music of the Spheres could best be reproduced by physical instruments and that aethyr-technics were a step away from rather than toward the Primordial Music.

Of course, most composers are not trying to reproduce the Primordial Music itself, so that consideration would not normally occur (and Andelini-chei had some rather unexpected results, as readers will know). Naturally the story is fictional, but it does represent Novaryan ways of thinking about these things.

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* Radical in the proper sense of “going to the roots” — at least that was her intention.

The Meaning of Tradition

musareadingIt is important to understand exactly what is meant by the word “traditional” in the context of metaphysical Traditionalism and hence as used by Chelouranyans.

René Guénon clearly lays down the meaning of tradition in the true sense. He is deeply critical of that modern “traditionalism” which is mere sentimental attachment to the past and he essentially dismisses the realistic art of the Renaissance and everything beyond it as untraditional. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy dismisses modern music, meaning not “pop” music or atonal music, but the Western well-tempered scale used in Western music from the time of Bach. As he says, from a truly Traditional musical point of view, “the pianoforte is out of tune by definition”.

Now to a certain extent it may be said that Miss Alice Trent restored to some degree the “soft” traditionalism criticized by Guénon with her advocacy of things like Art-Neo (pre-Eclipse) Kinema, but she was fully aware of the distinctions drawn by Guénon and other Traditionalists, and fully in agreement with them. Late-Rajasic “tradition” is not in any sense Traditional according to the “strong” usage of the word (i.e. the product of a Sattwic society). It is clearly the product of a late-Rajasic society.

Miss Trent did not advocate or encourage confusion between the two senses of tradition. The value of things like up-to date kinematics is that they have a small, vestigial (and “blind” – i.e. it is completely unaware of the intellectual basis) residue of tradition. Small as this is it is of great value to beings who know only the post-modern (i.e. Tamasic) diseased culture of the post-Eclipse period. She also advocates Art Neo which was a very late Rajasic innovation and to some extent a “blind” reaction against early Tamasic aesthetic (or dysesthetic) movements.

If by “tradition” we are meaning attachment (however vestigial) to real Tradition, as opposed to a sentimental valuing of (very relative) “oldness” for its own sake (which was so rightly criticized by Guénon) – then we have to say that certain anime are considerably more traditional than any West Tellurian 1930s kinema in the sense that they retain consciously a considerable amount of authentically, metaphysically traditional thought, while even the “nicest” 1930s kinematic is, in its conscious ideology, thoroughly substantialist.

This is not to say that even the best anime is devoid of faults (any more than the best 1930s kinematic is – though the faults in each case are different). But it does indeed have a great deal to offer, assuming we are not judging it on criteria of mere “oldness” or imagining ourselves too “grown-up” to benefit from it.

Kawaii, like Art Neo, is an innovation. In terms of mere time it is a later innovation than Art Neo. in terms of tradition it may in some senses be “earlier” in that it comes out of a society much less historically imbedded in Rajasic modernism.

We also have to bear in mind that simplistic formulae like “tradition = good” are not in themselves valuable. Traditional Tellurian patriarchal societies in the full and proper sense of the word (i.e. Sattwic societies) were not “good”. They practiced torture and the killing of their own kind (as, of course, do modern ones). They were often harsh in the extreme and cruel. Of course, they had many good elements too, but to imagine they were “good” because they were traditional is to confuse two different criteria.

In many ways we might argue Kawaii both carries elements of an innovative racination (like that of Art Neo) with a distinctive softening of patriarchal harshness, which was much needed in Japan as in other Tellurian cultures. Let us not forget that patriarchy itself, even in its most Traditional forms, is a revolt against the older, purer, cleaner and kinder feminine tradition.

Without pressing any of these points too hard, I would just like to indicate that the question is far more complex than “old = traditional = good”. “Old” does not equal traditional and traditional does not necessarily equal good. Innovation does not necessarily equal “bad” (as Art Neo demonstrates). The whole question is much more complex than one that can be settled by reference to clocks and calendars.

This explanation was given in the context of a forum discussion on innocence, elegance, and kawaii which may be found here.

Tellurian Media and the Soul of Maid

Girl with a Book by Alexander Deineka 1934Lucetta Jane Spurling said:  Regarding understanding and agreement in western Telluria: some of you may be aware of the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land which introduced the “Martian” concept of to grok, which means (literally) to drink, but also to take complete understanding into oneself such that it becomes part of oneself and one becomes more a part of the greater ocean of wisdom. This was an extremely controversial book in its day and still is to some extent (albeit with less fervour and for more feminist reasons). Of course the west would be against such an idea! The book also promoted a sort of menamity which, while it was somewhat bound up in schizomorphic eroticism, was also the subject of controversy. I hope this isn’t terribly off-topic, I just couldn’t resist sharing!

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Yuriko Rill said:  A long time ago, I did read Stranger in a Strange Land (before I ever came to Chelouranya).  The concept of to grok is interesting; however, sadly, there are a lot of other problems with that book (and a lot of other works of Robert Heinlein), even though they were mostly written pre-Eclipse.  It can be SO hard to navigate the media of West Telluria to know what is safe and what is not.

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Sushuri said:  I have not read Mr. Heinlein’s books so I really have no idea what is bad about them, but I would imagine that what we would find problematic would be very different from what West Telluri (especially feminists) find problematic – or at least for very different reasons.

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Petite Sorcière said:  I haven’t read Mr. Heinlein’s book either. I have known its title for as long as I can remember because it struck deep in me as a child that that is what I was: a stranger in a strange land. I knew what the phrase meant to me and so was not particularly interested in what it meant to an outlander.

Putting two and two together (and maybe making six) – when Rill-san says it is unusually poisonous for a pre-Eclipse book (suspecting that that is what she means by “problems”) and Miss Spurling says it was very controversial in its time but less so now – it makes me wonder if it was that its proto-eclipseness was upsetting to a pre-eclipse world while its poisons have now become part of the vast danse macabre of what is acceptable in the “new, (post-modern) normal”.

Interesting also that even before the Eclipse it was necessary to coin a word for “understand” that implies (perhaps) what understanding implies to the Japanese and the rest of us. That was opaque to the Telluri West long, long before the Eclipse and is part of the reason the Eclipse happened.

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Lucetta Jane Spurling said:  Despite its alluring title, I would certainly not recommend Stranger in a Strange Land as reading for any but the most scholarly Chelouranyi (is that the correct pluralization?) interested in western Tellurian thought. As Rill-san says, the books is fraught with problems—pretty much everyone, from the day it was written till now, can find a reason to find it absurd. That said, “grok” has entered the vernacular (it’s in the dictionary and appears on crossword puzzles), although I daresay very few people use it correctly. Unsurprisingly, the western understanding of understanding has diminished it.

From the feminine essentialist perspective, Mr. Heinlein’s other work notwithstanding, I believe Stranger was written as a treatise on how to course-correct a world he perceived as hurtling toward the Eclipse. It is very much set in the schizomorphic paradigm but attempts to, I think rather accidentally, reintroduce basic items of traditional culture under the spoonful-of-sugar guise of extreme rationalism. It might be interesting reading if only to see how one might reach out to a deracinated person through their own paradigm of evolutionism and progress, but that’s generally not something we concern ourselves with.

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Rosamunda Elefarya said:  Honored Miss Spurling, I am afraid I must disagree most strongly. I think you will find, as I have found, that the more scholarly a Chelouranyana becomes, the more profoundly uninterested she becomes in late West Tellurian thought. There is so much better thinking out there. Nor can I feel that grok is a good word for Chelouranyani to use – it may be in West Tellurian dictionaries, but comes too recently from a particular and poisonous source to have yet shaken the influence of that source sufficiently for our purposes.

It is true that Mr. Heinlein was able to spot certain elements of the Eclipse, which he called “The Crazy Years”, coming. However, his solutions, which he seems to have believed in most strongly, were as deracinated as the things he was trying to combat. You will find this quite frequently in most West Tellurian attempts to combat the Eclipse.

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Sushuri said:  I think what you describe, honored Elefarya-chei, is indeed a common theme in West Tellurian attempts to counter West Tellurian excesses. Obvious and simple examples are notions like “getting back to our emotions” to counter hyper-rationalism. The flaw here is that the whole rational/emotional spectrum is what is wrong in the first place – the idea that there is no Intelligence beyond material reason and no Love beyond mere earthly sentiment and passion. Flipping from one end to the other of a false and crippled spectrum achieves very little.

Or to take an example used by Miss Trent in The Feminine Universe – Christian Fundamentalism is essentially based on the errors it set out to refute. It is not even simply a reaction against them, but accepts their terms of engagement uncritically. The answer to attacks on the historicity of Scripture was not to affirm their supra historical meaning but, in “defending” them, to reduce them to history.

These are merely incidental examples, but one will find them everywhere. Many West Tellurians have been aware that their culture is sick. Unfortunately the “medicine” always comes from a different leaf of the same poison plant that created the sickness in the first place.

Fortunately, it is not our problem.

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Yuriko Rill said:  Before I came to Chelouranya, when I did not know any better, when reading books, listening to music, watching kinnies, and the like, I would naturally try to pick up on what was good and true, even in deeply poisonous media.  My flavvie is of the age where I was a little too young to remember pre-Eclipse Western media as media from my Tellurian childhood and I was a little too old to have been exposed to Japanese media, such as Sailor Moon.  (Heee…I have only discovered the magic of good Anime since coming here!)  I think even when I was the most lost in the Darkness of the Pit, I tried very hard to find goodness and Light where I could.

There ARE bits of good and Light out there in post-Eclipse West Tellurian media; however, these bits are mingled in with a lot of poison.  When I was struggling with this and I talked with a good and wise friend about it, she explained to me that if there was arsenic in a bowl of rice, one threw out the entire bowl …even the otherwise nutritious bits would be covered in poison!  Like many, when I first came, I had developed a bit of tolerance for the poisons of the Pit, so I thought I could retrieve the nutrition from otherwise poisonous media.

If there were truly nothing else to be found, one would have to live with the poisons and adapt as well as one could.  Fortunately for us, this is not the case.  There IS media that we can consume that is much more pure.  I think that this takes us back to the original topic of this thread.  One of the reasons that phrases like “to grok” came into popular usage is that there are many things that English is ill equipped to communicate.  While we do not know all the ins and outs of why Japanese has become so important to our community, we do know that Japanese IS a language that can be used to express so many things that are difficult to impossible to express in English.  It is much better to find words from a very traditional language than it is to use words from poisonous Western media, deshou.

The other reason/excuse that I had to continue to consume poisonous media was that I thought that I could not completely avoid the poisons of the Pit, so wouldn’t it be better to maintain a tolerance to them.  That seemed to make logical sense, and it is true that losing my tolerance for Pit poisons has made some situations a little more awkward.  One of the things that I was not aware of, though, was just how MUCH damage these poisons were doing to my soul, without my being aware of it.  Now that I have learned to recognize what being poisoned *feels* like, I can see that I had been having symptoms of deep poisoning all of my life, in the nature of depression, mood swings, and difficulties with procrastination.  Now that I try to keep myself as clean and pure as possible, I find that even though poisons are more immediately uncomfortable… I am much, much better able to recover from them!  My overall system is healthier, if this makes sense!

Along these lines, I really do think that Japanese is a “cleaner” language overall than English.  In my studies, I have been immersing myself in Japanese as much as I can, and I am noticing that the more immersed in Japanese I am the more pure I feel!  It is really quite fascinating.  Where I can, I have been changing my ordie and Elektra settings to Japanese, in part to help me learn, but also in part, because it does feel cleansing in a way that is difficult to explain on a rational level.

___
Lucetta Jane Spurling said:  Forgive me, honoured Elefarya-chei, for I was not suggesting that “grok” be taken as a Chelouranyan word, merely pointing out that despite western Telluria’s attempts to right itself, as Sushuri-chei much more eloquently put it, they are fashioning a medicine from the same rootless, poisoned plant. Meanwhile, “wakaru” is still alive and well because it was never cut from its roots.

I have long vacillated on the idea of whether or not poisonous material is worth study, wavering because I understand that this idea may be a product of my own pit-poisoning. Definitely, the study of hazardous materials is not for everyone but the well-trained. It is just that I have seen our community harmed by our naivete before, and I wonder if we should not strive to know our enemy so that we can defend ourselves against it. Do soldiers not train to destroy demons?

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Rosamunda Elefarya said:  No, please forgive me for being a bit harsh in my speech. I was a little shocked to see the reference in this place and that made me a bit firmer than I otherwise would have been. I’m not angry so please put your mind at ease.

___
Setsuna Chandrick said:  Being a Kadorian (and therefore having served a mandatory term in the military) I do recall a thing or two about soldiers training to destroy demons. They train in the safety of the South, firmly grounded in the Truth and carefully watched. Their time at the Northern border is as strictly limited as a Tellurian scientist’s time in Antarctica, and their strength comes from the Light they carry. The longer they stay North, the weaker they get and the more prone to mistakes. How is this relevant? Well, I do wonder if perhaps it is the same here: we severely limit our contact with that which we know is poisonous to us and thus conserve our strength for the fight. To deliberately study poisonous material seems a bit like going to a demon-run training camp. Know thy enemy… but not on a come-calling level, eh?

___
Lucetta Jane Spurling said:  Of course I forgive you, honored Elefarya-chei. Please forgive me for being a bit too familiar with the enemy. It has no place here.

___
Carmilla
said:  Miss Yuriko Rill, reading your statement about the poisons of the Pit, I saw so much of my own experiences reflected in your words. I do think that what we surround ourselves with contributes to our overall spiritual well-being. As I slowly weed out the Pit influences on my life, I find that I am less and less attracted toward those poisons, as I have developed an awareness to the dangers and true nature of them.

I posted information about the poisons of post-modern media on the mind and soul. I received positive feedback for the most part, however a certain foul-mouthed cad decided to make it his mission to prove that post-modern media was not at all dangerous. He claimed that bad messages in the media does not make people do bad things and that people are blaming the media rather than taking responsibility for their bad behaviour. He also stated that people who do not wish to be around disturbing post-modern “arts” (I wonder if these grotesque deformations of true art even deserve the name) lack a strong will, and was citing his own liking of disturbing music and gruesome movies without committing the actions himself as “evidence” of his view point. This is a bit of my reply:

My religion (Filianism) teaches that we have the power to choose between things that bring us closer to God or bring us further away from God. This is the power of will I am talking about, the choice to not only choose to not do the bad things, but to surround myself with good, pure, wholesome things to replace the bad things with. It’s like with alcohol/drug addiction, if you have never been addicted to those things being around it won’t make you crave it for yourself, but if you had a problem in the past you definitely don’t want to be exposed to that or around people who encourage you to abuse drugs/alcohol. You don’t just fix a problem and it’s gone and you never think about it again, you have to make a conscious, solemn promise to not ever repeat the action again. It takes willpower to stop lying to yourself that you don’t have a problem and it takes willpower to stop surrounding yourself with negative influences, even if that means losing some friends and replacing old recreational activities with better ones. While it may not be for you, what I expose myself to IS a moral choice, because I want to surround myself with things that reflect the beauty of God, not the ugliness of khear and sin. There is an option and there is a choice, and if I can help even one person who may benefit from doing what I have done to help myself, then that’s what matters. And that’s why I’m talking about it on here.  I mean I get what you’re saying, you’re making a point about taking responsibility for one’s own actions instead of blaming the media or whatever, and that’s fine. But actions like listening or not listening to that type of music is also a choice of willpower, especially when it’s not a popular choice and most people won’t understand why you shun that kind of music.

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Sushuri
said:  Honored Miss Carmilla, your thoughts are very valuable. The response of your critic is interesting and rather demonstrates to my mind the inability of many Tellurians to understand questions that do not relate to the agora. The idea that playing bad games will make one do violent acts really has nothing to do with what you were saying but is taken from an entirely different Tellurian discussion regarding whether violent games have a bad effect on the Tellurian agora. Personally I imagine they do, but that isn’t really our point or yours.

A dear friend spoke recently of someone close to her who still watches bad kinemas. She told me that this friend’s manner and behavior was markedly different (and less pleasant) after exposure to poisonous media, and different again after exposure to healthy media. And this, of course, is what  Filianism teaches – that our “souls” (to use that rather loose term) are plastic to the thoughts and images we expose them to, and are indeed changed by them.

That my friend’s friend would go out and commit axe-murders after prolonged exposure to bad games or media, I do not for a moment suppose. That, on a much subtler, but ultimately no less important level, she is being changed by those media is visibly apparent. No amount of “knowing the theory” stops us from being changed by exposure, any more than knowing the chemical components of a physical poison will stop it from harming us if we ingest it.

The Forces of Darkness

What exactly are the Forces of Darkness?

This is a question that goes very deep indeed. Every tradition has always taught about the “Adversary” – the force or forces that oppose goodness and light. In the Scriptures we have the Snake of the Creation (who opposes Creation itself and wants all to be darkness and nothingness) and the Dark Queen of the Mythos of God the Daughter, who sends her minions to torment the Daughter and finally slays Her.

Sai Vikhë is one of the Seven Primary Powers, because conflict is an inevitable part of manifest existence. Metaphysically, it is the constant tension between the four material elements that prevents them from resolving back into the primal element of Aethyr.

Each one of us has a true self and a false self. We all have bad tendencies that we must combat as well as a pure and perfect nature to which we can aspire (the little angel and devil on the shoulder is a humorous depiction of something that isn’t too far from the truth).

This is the overall cosmic perspective. But on a lower level – in certain places, like Telluria – there is also a conflict between the primal Feminine and the forces of an unrestrained Masculine (in other worlds the masculine does not exist and the conflict may take different forms). This certainly does not mean that “men are bad”. Men may be on the side of light. However, our particular mission is one that only maids can effect.

In Telluria the unbalanced rise of the masculine principle has taken the form of excessive materiality, violence, and human conflict. The masculine principle has to do with consolidation and matter, and also with conflict and combat. These are not necessarily bad things in themselves (we are in combat with the forces of darkness, and that is the true “Holy War” intended for maid). But when being able to manage material existence ends in a belief that matter is “all there is” and when combat is turned against humans rather than dark forces, it becomes unbalanced and dangerous.

Now all this is part of a greater cosmic conflict between light and darkness, and the Motherland’s role in Telluria does not directly concern Telluria itself, but a greater cosmic balance in which Telluria (but not only Telluria) is playing an unbalancing role.

That – in strategic terms – is why Operation Bridgehead was needed in Telluria and why Chelouranyans have been sent to work here. Our work takes place on a spiritual level. We are certainly not here to fight the Tellurians, but our work does bring us into direct conflict with some of the darker forces of Telluria.

It is important to recall that, despite the Tellurian doctrine that the material plane is the only one, actually the material plane is not only one of many but also one of the lowest. What happens on the material plane is always a reflection of what is happening on other planes.

The Tellurians themselves have no idea who we are or what we are doing, and even if we tell them they (fortunately) cannot understand. On the other hand the guiding “demons” of the patriarchal-materialist revolution do recognize us and want to stop us.

There are two conditions in which they typically appear:

1. When we are making good forward progress and they want to disrupt it.

2. When they see a weakness that they can exploit.

The first of these is the most frequent, and indeed we often see attacks by the Forces of Darkness as a sign that we are doing well! They often seem to “panic” when we are making good progress and launch all sorts of assaults on us.

That is one way of defending against them – realizing that their attacks are actually accolades. They show we are making headway. This is important because the intention is often to demoralize us, or knock us off course. So it is important to take strength from an attack, and to know it is usually a sign we are on the right course.

The second case is when we are weak or unwell, or when a particular person has bad qualities (jealousy, anger, resentment etc.) that can be exploited. The Forces of Darkness are opportunists and will jump in where they see an opening has been left for them. They love to use our less admirable qualities against us and against our friends.

The best defenses against them are:

1. Prayer and trust in Dea.

2. Friendship of sister believers. One thing they will often attempt to do is isolate us. Encourage us to “go into our shell” and not communicate with our sisters. If they can find ways of isolating us, we are much more vulnerable.

3. Laughter. They hate being laughed at. Darkness can never really overcome the light, although they can hurt us and inconvenience us. In the end their power is all a big bluff. Calling that bluff is what they fear most. In this case laughter is a far distant echo of the laughter of the Mother that created the world. It is a peal of joy about the power of Light and against the sheer absurdity (in the end) of the minions of evil.

Some important things to realize about the Forces of Darkness:

1. They are forcefully drawn to light, almost like moths. The fact that we turn to Dea and the fact that we make good progress are both elements that seem to attract them.

2. They feed on light, as they have none and wish to destroy it out of hate and jealousy.

3. They are very persistent. They will try over and over using different approaches to try and hurt a maid. If deflected in one area, they will try to find another weak spot. We can win by standing firm. They will win some rounds inevitably, but if we stay firm in our faith and resolution they will not win overall. Their whole purpose is to shake our resolution and turn us away from the light. That way they could win if we allow it.

4. They have many agents through which they do their work. Some poor souls may not even know they are being used. In the Pit culture there is a very considerable streak of embracing darkness which allows certain individuals to be used quite easily. People can sometimes be used without necessarily being full-time agents of darkness. Their weaknesses can be exploited on particular occasions for particular purposes. Tellurians have become especially vulnerable to this, because unlike more traditional people they are mostly unaware of spiritual forces, good or bad, and take no precautions.

5. Vigilance is needed in dealing with them. It is necessary to remain watchful of their influence and presence and take measures to counteract their attacks as soon as they become apparent . Being aware of our spiritual surroundings is important for protecting ourselves.

___________________________

A suggestion from Miss Trent:

A thought on how to turn the personal attacks around. If your own bad qualities are triggered or hooked by some person or event, say envy or unpleasant thoughts about someone, one can think, Aha! my weakness is being exploited, but I will take it as a sign that I need to work on this, or be humble about that, as the case may be. Then the Fs of D are defeated because you have turned towards the Light.

A suggestion from Willow Dreamwalker:

I believe that Our Momma would like us to take good care of ourselves. Just like any mother would, and more! When we are sad, we should be gentle and generous with ourselves: go do some shopping, or pamper yourself with a nice hot bubble bath, or eat some chocolate – whichever strikes our particular fancy, we should do. I find that by keeping this in mind and keeping Dea’s own love within us, we can love ourselves just as she does, and be good to ourselves when things go awry. After a while, the Foddies are bound to give up out of sheer exasperation. If they can not take Dea and Her love out of every maid’s heart, even after they have exhausted all of their resources, what are they to do? Nothing, I say!

This is what we can do: not only to love Dea and to love others, but to love ourselves.
_____

See also: Demonology in Feminine Religion

 

Naivete

Simplicity-And-Innocence,-1900Yuriko Rill said:

There is a really funny Western Telluri notion that the absolute WORST thing in the world is being “fooled” or “tricked” by someone. There was a really strange Happiness Charge Precure episode about that (which was one of the episodes that really made me think that Happiness Charge was much less sound than other Precure series, by the way).

But, when one thinks about it… is it REALLY all that horrid?  I think it is far, far more damaging to become cynical and distrustful than it is to be occasionally “fooled” or “tricked.”  It took me time to understand that, and at times, my False Self still can tempt me.

I think that is really the key… all of us have a True and a False Self… and that is where the battle between Good and Evil really begins and ends.  That is an interesting difference between Western media and Eastern media that I have seen.  Western media tends to portray Maids as intrinsically Good or Evil.  In the Anime I have seen, Maids are rightly portrayed Axial Beings who have the choice between Good and Evil… and that choice is a day-by-day, and sometimes minute-by-minute choice.  Here we do our best to nurture our True Selves and to fight our False Selves… and we support each other in that.  We use what we can find around us to do that.

I guess what I am saying is that the truest defense is to be wise against the tricks of our own False Selves and to hold on to the Light!  So long as we choose the Light, the Light WILL keep us safe.

Sushuri said:
I am reminded of the essay “Reflections on Naivete” by Frithjof Schuon. It doesn’t appear to be available online, but a point that struck me was:

“To the cheat and the sharper, the mentality of the normal person always seems naive”

Not an exact quotation I am afraid as I don’t have the text. But this is a very telling point, I think. Current West Telluria is a world of cheats and sharpers and of their grim-faced, wary victims.

Another thing I am reminded of is something that happens in the town my friend lives (probably one of the most cynical, westernized towns in Japan). The Nativity lights are a great attraction, and one thing advertised in the flyers is the “Great Blink” – a moment when all the lights are turned off very briefly and then on again. It helps people to appreciate the magic of the lights and people are asked to please enjoy the Great Blink.

This is just the sort of thing that would make Western people terribly cynical. “All they’re doing is turning the lights off and on. What’s so great about that? We’re being tricked!” But nobody thinks like that even in one of the most cynical cities in Japan.

There are times to be on our guard, of course. But living life in the soul-world of the cheats and sharpers and building our souls around their petty shrewdness, robs us of far more than the cheats and sharpers themselves could ever take from us.

Petite Sorcière said:
A thing Tellurians sometimes note about “terrorism” is that its actual physical effects are comparatively small. Its real effectiveness lies in the amount of reaction it can provoke. Whole nations are put on a security-war footing as a result of a few relatively economical actions by the adversary – who gains vastly disproportionate “value for money” from those actions.

I think the same is true of cynicism. The actual instances of “trickery” are relatively small in comparison to the entire re-engineering of the soul that happens in supposed “response” to them.

And, just as many in Tellurian governments are actually using the “response to terrorism” as an excuse to enact tyrannical measures they would have liked to enact in any case, so the cult of “wariness” gives the forces of deracination (and the false self) the excuse they need to promote cynicism. You can’t live in simple wonder and appreciation or you’ll be tricked! You’ll be laughed at!

Could well be. But I think I’ll take my chances.

The Cross and the Flag

Miss Sushuri Madonna wondered:
We have often been told how the symbol of the Cross, and other related symbols, can be read either “vertically” or “horizontally”—that is, either with the vertical bar representing the Celestial Ray and the horizontal bar representing the outward expansion of a material universe, or with both bars representing expansion in four directions and the Center representing the point of descent of the Spiritual dimension.

Akin to this, in the case of a flag, might we not say that while on one level the cross on the flag represents a symbol of centrality, on another the flagpole, which is vertical and unmoving, represents the spiritual Axis, while the flag, which blows in the wind and is constantly changing, represents the world of material flux and change?

Raya Chancandre Aquitaine confirmed:
Thank you for your interesting point, Miss Sushuri. You are quite correct. On one level while the flagstaff represents the scriptural Pillar of Light that “moveth not by the breadth of an hair”, the flag represents the moving world of individuals and nations. We may also note that the flag may fly out in all directions of the compass according to the changing winds of the world, while the staff will always represent the Center, in accordance with the words:

Earth moves, but Heaven is still. The rim revolves, but the Center remains without motion. [The Clew of the Horse]

Queen Mayanna House

Lady CarleonQueen Mayanna House represents a typical lay college, a common establishment in Sai Herthe.

Queen Mayanna House is what is known as a Lay College. There are many of them in the West, and the main reason for their existence is the same as the reason for the many Brunettes’ Clubs (and in recent times Blondes’ Clubs too) as well as small residential hotels and pensions. In times past, and still in the East, when a maid was unmarried (as maids often are in Sai Herthe since the procreative need is rather smaller for such a long-lived and harm-resistant people) she stayed with her extended family or, if she were a magdalin, with the mistress to whom she was apprenticed. In the West, with the decline — though by no means death — of the guild and apprentice system and with so many of the more modern type of unmarried girl preferring to place some distance between themselves and their families, new places grew up in which such a girl might live.

To take a flat alone is not unheard of, but it is very rare. Individualism of the late-schizomorph kind has made little headway in the Motherland. Even if they move away from some of the more traditional ways of life, Herthelans require an in-group in which to live and move and have their being.

The Clubs create one such group. They often have particular activities associated with them such as fencing or poetry, and they may meet other like-minded clubs for contests, exchanges of ideas or joint exhibitions of work. Another is created by the Lay Colleges, some of which have filial ties to the great Universities, others of which are simply small private establishments. As they are primarily living places, their courses of compulsory study are often small. Queen Mayanna House simply requires one essay or major poem per year as a condition of membership: but these essays and poems have often taken their place among the most admired literature in the Western World, for the Annual Opus (as it is called) stimulates the best efforts of some of the finest minds in Trent and Novarya.

Queen Mayanna is a daughter-house of Goldcrest College, Milchford University, and nearly all its members are Old Goldcrestiennes. This gives the college a somewhat cosmopolitan character as girls from all over the Western Empire, and some from the East, go up to Milchford, and a few of them move on afterwards to Queen Mayanna House; so while the College has a largely South-Trentish and West-Novaryan character, it does contain girls from many different lands.

From Lady Carleon Investigates: The Adventure of the Crystal Staff

Kaleidoscopes

kaleidoscopesMiss Sushuri Madonna wrote:
I have always adored kaleidoscopes and the way they create order out of chaos. I spoke to lhi Raya about them and here is some of what she taught me: Cosmos means “order” hence our word “cosmetic” because beauty=order (much to the chagrin of the anarcho-bongo). A kaleidoscope is literally a beautiful-form or beautiful-order scope (kalos=beautiful + eidos=form).

And the order, or beauty, is imposed by mirrors. What is a mirror metaphysically? One thinks of the Mirror of Wisdom, one of the traditional titles of Our Lady. The mirrors transform (perhaps illusorily, but then is not all manifestation in some sense illusion?) the apparent randomness or chaos of insensate matter into the form and symmetry that we see wherever the hand of Dea has directly shaped Her creation, in the intelligent design of a flower, a snowflake, a crystal or a bird.

The kaleidoscope also gives the lie to the dreary, predictable anarcho-bongo who claims to prefer disorder to order and thinks assymetry is “more interesting” than symmetry. Not only knows she nothing of metaphysical truth; she knows nothing of her own real mind. For no one finds the random scattering of beads and scraps of cellophane in a kaleidoscope either interesting or beautiful until order and symmetry are imposed on them by the tiny daughters of the Mirror of Wisdom.

Lady Aquila further expounded:
Fascinating. The number 7 is made up of the earthly number 4 and the celestial number 3, so the Seven Great Janyati are sometimes called the three Celestials and the four Terrestrials (not much mentioned in Telluria because “Terrestrial” could be so easily misunderstood or over-literalised).

So often we see the four Terrestrials working together: the Way of Wisdom (Sai Mati), the Way of Love (Sai Sushuri), the Way of Works or ritual action (Sai Thame) and the Guardian of the Ways (Sai Vikhe).

In the Kaleidoscope we see Wisdom (Sai Mati), Order, or Harmony (Sai Thame) and Beauty (Sai Sushuri) in perfect accord. Are they not the three mirrors of the traditional kaleidoscope? But what of Sai Vikhe (A question the warrior will always ask)? Is she not the casing of the kaleidoscope that protects it from the outside influences that would disrupt its temenos or sacred enclosure?

Miss Sushuri Madonna replied:
What a wonderful explanation of Sai Vikhe’s role in this instance.

One sometimes wonders what is the function of Sai Vikhe under peaceful conditions (well, I do, being a shroom of very little brain), but this helps me see more clearly how the general principle of “protecting” may apply in many ways.

It also clarifies for me the widespread devotion to Sri Durga as a protecting mother – I am sure there must be a similar cultus of Sai Vikhe in the Motherland. As a child of Sai Sushuri, that had perhaps been a little obscure to me. But today – well, do you know how sometimes a light just turns on in one’s heart? That is what happened.

Thank you, my lady. I feel I have learned an important thing today.
______________________________
Here you can see how a kaleidoscope works to spin order out of disorder:
Kaleidoscope Toy

The Heart of Dea

Miss Sakura wrote:

I love Maria-sama ga Miteru more than any other. It is very pure and beautiful and it fills the soul with passion that is white and spotless, like the mountain lily. It has some Tellurian parts because it is made in Telluria, but to me it seems to be closer to our dear Motherland than any other Tellurian thing. It seems to breathe of home.

How precious it is that the school song of the Lilian Academy is a hymn to our Mother as Sai Thamë even as the whole anime is a hymn to order and comeliness and sweet, passionate innocence.

The hymn to Maria-sama’s heart also makes me want to know more about the heart of Dea. Is the Divine Heart an important thing in Chelouranyan thealogy?

Lhi Raya Chancandre Aquitaine responded:

In answer to Miss Sakura’s question: the heart in the human microcosm corresponds to the sun in the macrocosm. The sun incarnates for us the light-giving Spirit, the pure, radiant Centre of all being.

In each one of us, her spiritual Heart is ultimately one with Dea. That is why we greet each other with the salutation Rayati—”Hail to the sun in thee”—and why we make reverence to each other.

heart-of-dea-1

Yet for all this, we are imperfect beings, and we see the true Radiant Heart of the Universe in its glory and perfection only in the immaculate, loving Heart of our Mother Herself.

The term “Immaculate Heart” may be a Christian formulation, but it is entirely accurate from a Deanic point of view, since the heart that is truly immaculate—free from any imperfection or taint—is, by definition that pure, Solar heart that we hail in each one of us, but which is occluded to a greater or lesser extent by our imperfections.

In other words, the Immaculate Heart is by definition the Divine Heart of Dea: the supernal Sun and Centre of all being: the Source of all light and all warmth; of all wisdom and all love; of all life and of existence itself.

It is in the Heart of Dea that we seek refuge, now and eternally.

Miss Sakura asked:

Most honoured Raya, thank you for answering my question. I have more questions if nobody will mind.

1. Is Mary or Maria a name of Dea in Sai Herthe?

2. If Maria-sama’s heart is like Sai Thamë, why, although Her cloak is blue, is her inner robe and Her very heart red?

3. Why is there a flame from Her Heart?

4. Is Her heart surrounded by white roses?

Lhi Raya Chancandre Aquitaine responded:

These are very pertinent questions, Miss Sakura. I shall not take them one by one, as the issues they raise interweave and they require what might be called a compound answer.

The names Maria, Mari, Marya, Mari-Anna, and doubtless other forms are used in Sai Herthe for Dea the Mother; especially (but not exclusively) in Filianic contexts as meaning the Mother as opposed to the Daughter.

The Mother, Raya Marya, Dea Herself, is not Sai Thamë. Rather She is the pure untinted Light that may be seen through the seven refractions of the Great Janyati—so we may see Her in the light of Sai Thamë as this beautiful hymn does. Often She is also seen in the light of Sai Sushuri, partly because the rose is the flower both of the Mother and of Sai Sushuri. Naturally She may also be seen in the light of Sai Raya, being the Solar Mother, or of Sai Mati as the Heart-Intellect.

The use of red in the image I chose is indicative of warmth and love. The Supernal Heart, like the Sun (which it also is) has two outpourings: warmth (or Love) and light (or Intellect). The flame from the heart belongs clearly to the aspect of warmth or “burning love”, the radiance that surrounds the heart to the aspect of light.

The red robe in this particular image stresses the love, or warmth, aspect.

Let us consider another image:

heart-of-dea-2

Here, as you see, the cloak and veil are Thamë-blue and the robe white and gold. The heart is flaming with love, and the radiance is white and pure. This image is closer to the aspect of Maria-sama in our lovely hymn.

Also, you can see more clearly the white roses about Her heart. These represent love and purity, and may also represent the pure, loving souls gathered about Her loving heart. Interestingly Our Lady’s heart is also sometimes depicted as being surrounded by lilies.

Such images have become rare in the Tellurian West and are criticised even by believers for being “saccharine” and “sentimental”.

Fortunately Japan seems relatively free from this sort of post-Eclipse perversity, and Maria-sama ga Miteru is wholly free from it, as, of course, is our beloved Motherland, where the tenderest emotionality and the most profound intellectuality dwell side by side, and we are afraid of neither; where purity evokes not embarrassment and self-conscious coarseness, but reverence and love and open-hearted joy.

Lady Aquila added:

The Tellurian locus classicus for this particular heart-symbolism is M. René Guénon’s essay “Le coeur rayonnant et le coeur enflammé” ( “The radiant heart and the flaming heart” ) in Symboles fondamentaux de la Science sacrée (Fundamental Symbols of Sacred Science).

The Inwardness of Maria-sama

Maria sama ga miteruAn episode of Maria-sama ga Miteru, an anime set in a Catholic girls’ school, prompted an interesting discussion.

Sushuri Madonna wrote:

I was struck by the lovely song that was sung in the closing scenes, as Sachiko-san told Yumi-san that she would certainly become her soeur: “Maria-sama no kokoro” (Lady Mary’s heart). Yumi-san comments on the fact that Maria-sama’s heart is compared to a sapphire. The other comparisons she can understand, but not this one.

In our discussion, I mentioned that the sapphire belongs to Sai Thamë. And that the love of Dea as Thamë—the Golden Order: the Azure Principle that binds each link in the Chain of Roses in love and obedience—is the great theme of the anime. The title sequence stresses the comeliness and orderliness of the “Garden of Maidens”, how neatness and harmony in dress, demeanour and movement are all-important.

Fascinated by this thought, I looked up the song and found a tentative translation of three of its five verses. I later found a score of the song and amended the translation and attempted a translation of my own of the remaining verses (three and four)—it is fortunately quite simple. Here it is:

I give it to you, with my transliteration and translation. If any of our Japanese-speakers have any corrections, please post them here! I have broken it into lines like a Western-style song-verse so that you can follow it more easily when you hear it sung in the show. Note that each syllable corresponds precisely to a beat of the tune, even when the syllables are adjacent vowels:

Maria-sama no kokoro
Sore(h)wa aozora
Watashitachi (w)o tsutsumu
Hiroi aozora

Maria-sama’s heart
That blue sky
We are enfolded
By the wide blue sky.

Maria-sama no kokoro
Sore(h)wa kashi no ki
Watashitachi (w)o mamoru
Tsuyoi kashi no ki

Maria-sama’s heart
That oak tree
We are protected
By the mighty oak.

Maria-sama no kokoro
Sore(h)wa uguisu
Watashitachi to utau
mori no uguisu

Maria-sama’s heart
That nightingale
We sing with
The woodland nightingale.

Maria-sama no kokoro
Sore(h)wa yamayuri
Watashitachi mo hoshii
Shiroi yamayuri

Maria-sama’s heart
That mountain-lily
We too desire
The white mountain lily.

Maria-sama no kokoro
Sore(h)wa safaia
Watashitachi (w)o kazaru
Hikaru safaia

Maria-sama’s heart
That sapphire
We are adorned by
The shining sapphire.

The translation is very literal and intended to help you appreciate the Japanese even if you do not know the language at all.

What struck me about this song (I am not sure if it was written for the show—I get the impression it is an independent Marian hymn) is the fact that each of the images, with the exception of the mountain-lily, is explicitly and archetypally one of the primary symbols of Sai Thamë. The canopy of the blue sky has been seen as the manifestation of the Thamë-stream since the dawn of history (in Sai Herthe it is especially associated with Sai Thamë in her ancient Ouranya form). The oak—the lightning-tree—is the tree of Sai Thamë par excellence. Singing and music are ruled by Sai Thamë, as is the nightingale, and the sapphire of course, is Sai Thamë’s jewel.

The lily belongs usually to the Daughter (and thus to Sai Candrë), though the mountain association gives it a Thamic element. Originally, the Council of Roses is called the Yamayurikai (Mountain Lily Society) and the school is the Lilian academy. The lily is taken in Japan as a symbol of love between girls, and in fact productions that feature feminine affection (like the Maria-sama series) are termed yuri (lily) as a genre.

It seems to me (though I am no thealogian) that there is no reason why a Chelouranyan should not sing this hymn in its entirety. It is a hymn to Dea as Sai Thamë and thus to the Eternal Harmony of the Golden Order that She rules.

And that, it seems to me, despite the fact that the protagonists are young and (as all humans are) fallible, is the deepest theme of this beautiful series.


Another version contributed by Lieutenant Fiona Gregoire:

Lady Mary’s heart, ’tis blue sky;
the blue sky that enfolds us.

Lady Mary’s heart, ’tis oak tree;
the mighty oak tree that defends us.

Lady Mary’s heart, ’tis uguisu; 1
the forest uguisu that sings with us.

Lady Mary’s heart, ’tis mountain lily;
the white mountain lily that we long for.

Lady Mary’s heart, ’tis sapphire; 2
the shining sapphire that adorns us.

1 A warbler, often mistaken for a nightingale. Unlike a nightingale, an uguisu does not sing at night.
2 It is worth noting that one of the ancient names of what is now Infraquirinelle (i.e. Lower Quirinelle, the island off the western Quirinelle coast) was Isle of Sapphire, though through a chain of sad incidents in a relative recent century caused the somewhat disparaging ‘infra’ to be in a preferred use by mainland dwellers.

Miss Sarah Newchurch commented:

Quote:

The lily belongs usually to the Daughter (and thus to Sai Candrë), though the mountain association gives it a Thamic element. The Council of Roses is called the Yamayurikai (Mountain Lily Society) and the school is the Lilian academy. The lily is taken in Japan as a symbol of love between girls, and in fact productions that feature feminine affection (like the Maria-sama series) are termed yuri (lily) as a genre.

From a heraldic standpoint, a lily is often confused with (or interchangeable with) an iris. For example, the symbol of a fleur-de-lis (from French, lit. flower of lily; compare with the national emblem of Trent) was indeed a stylization of an iris. Traditionally, the three petals of an iris represented faith, valour and wisdom, and also being a symbol of a bridge between heaven and earth, or between this world and the other-world (as with rainbow), is a Thamic symbol as well as being Candric. Iris also represents the nexus between water and air elements.

Sushuri Madonna responded:

Miss Newchurch, thank you for your comments on the lily/iris. Of course, this emblem on the Trentish flag is quintessentially Thamic, so it gives a strong Thamic element also to the mountain-lily reference. How fascinating.

Thank you so much, Honoured Lieutenant Fiona, for the finer translation and also for the information about the prehistory of Infraquirinelle. It is always wonderful to learn more about the Motherland’s history. “Infra” is a bit disparaging, but I always think of it as friendly. I know these things can annoy residents though—like the Westrennes who visit in Chen Avitsene and refer to it rather twee-ly as “Chen”, which annoys Westrenne-speaking Avitseneans like anything.

See also:

The Heart of Dea

The Philosophy of Dress

Philosophy of DressInsights often come in a flash. What I mean by that is that a very important idea may often be conveyed to one in an instant, as a sudden vision or apprehension of the true nature of things. I suspect that happens to all of us. The difficult part is following up that insight: grasping it between one’s teeth and methodically shaking out the meaning of it. This activity is what is called philosophy. At least it is the feminine and spiritual approach to philosophy: taking the insights or intuitions that are granted to us and diligently teasing out their full meaning.

Such an insight came to me yesterday. There has always been a lot of philosophical work and discussion in Chelouranya on the subject of dress and its real meaning: on why bongos dress as they do, what it signifies about their culture, and how it helps to create the spiritual and psychological conditions that are the Pit. Yesterday I accompanied my friend to the post office and I was watching a group of bongos shuffling about in their jeans, soft, floppy clothes, and bits of tracksuit, and suddenly an insight came to me. At first it seemed like a very strange one.

“These people are naked!” I suddenly realized. It seemed like an odd thought, because obviously they were wearing clothes. Admittedly that is giving the word “clothes” an exceptionally broad definition, but they were undeniably wearing something. Now of course this insight was not unaware of that. It was saying “These are not clothed people. They are naked bodies with some rags thrown over them. They are essentially naked. And they are not naked like a classical nude in a painting. They are naked in the way that cats and dogs and monkeys are naked.”

I knew what I was seeing was true, but it was hard to make rational sense of it. After all, to say a clothed person is a naked person with clothes on is surely a tautology. Cannot one say that of any clothed person from the 1930s or from ancient Greece? No, this insight was saying. Not in the same way. Those people were authentically dressed as these people in front of me were not. They were just naked bodies with odd bits of cloth thrown over them. The comparison that had been in my mind when I first saw them was a reference in a Quirinelle book to “the hour at which ladies like to dress for cocktails”. Such ladies dressed; these people did not dress. They just put things onto what they still regarded as mere bodies in the animal sense: essentially naked.

Why was that the case? I asked myself. Was it something to do with their loose and casual attitudes to what they call “sex”? Or was that too simple an answer?

I tried to explain the answer to a brunette friend, partly because having to explain an idea often forces it to be clarified. We started to analyze it. What was the fundamental difference between dressed people—whether in the 1950s at the cocktail hour, or at any other hour, or in the eighteenth century, or in Mandarin China, or in a tribal society—from these “naked apes” with clothes on?

Suddenly it began to make sense. By going back to more ancient societies we were taking the thing back to its roots. We were applying the principles of Essentialist thought. If one looks at the earlier societies, it is clear that dress is a ritual thing. In tribes, adornment may represent what are called “totem animals” (actually the animal embodiments of Janyati or Archetypes), they also represent status within the order of the tribe, which is conceived as a microcosm of the order of the cosmos. The tasselled fringes worn by some Red Indian tribes represent the sun’s rays, with all the metaphysical significance of solarity. Dress in old China was carefully regulated by ritual considerations and those of social function, which—as everywhere else, including the mediaeval West—was seen not only as reflecting, but as being organically related to the functioning of the cosmos itself.

By the time we get to the Renaissance West, these ritual considerations are waning. We are moving from a Sattwic to a Rajasic society. But as is the case in every aspect of Rajasic society, it continues to reflect, in its outward-directed forms, the upward-directed prototypes of its Sattwic roots. They are increasingly unaware of the spiritual and metaphysical significance of their dress—which is now vestigial—but the thread is still not broken. Even in the 1950s, on the very verge of the Eclipse, women dress for cocktails, men go to business carefully attired with bowler hats and furled umbrellas. Postmen, policemen, cinema usherettes, and dozens of other functionaries (and I use this term in the positive and vestigially-Sattwic sense of “performers of functions within the Great Order”) are meticulously uniformed. Evening dress is worn for theater, opera, and dining at good restaurants and hotels, but even at the local cinema and palais de dance (vulgarly termed “the pally”) people are conscious of “going out” and dress accordingly.

What we are saying is that all these people are dressed in the same sense that a tribal dancer, a Chinese mandarin, or a mediaeval courtier is dressed. The thread is diminished but as yet unbroken. With the eclipse and the onset of a Tamasic society, the thread, in dress as in most other things, is broken. People are no longer dressed in the true sense of the word. In a Sattwic society, as Dr Coomaraswamy often said, “body and soul are served together”. The objects of craft, whether a drinking-bowl or a chariot, have both functional and metaphysical significance. In a Rajasic society, the ritual (or intellectual) significance of the products of human art and craft is increasingly forgotten; but there is still a sense of rightness that links them back to their Sattwic origins. And of all artifacts, clothes are the closest to us—both literally and figuratively.

If we look at the typical bongo clothes they are, in their own words, designed to be “casual” and to reject the element of form (that is why they are called informal). In theory their design is for comfort and convenience and many bongos do choose their dress for those reasons (or at least imagine that they do). In this respect, bongo clothes are precisely “animal” in nature because they are designed to perform the same functions as a non-human creature’s fur or feathers—simply to keep her warm and be as convenient as possible in all ways.

Now as soon as one says this, it is clear that even the term “animal” requires some qualification. The function of bongo clothes does not correspond to the real function of animal skin. It corresponds to the notion of animal skin held by the post-Darwinian mind. The notion that animals are simply “functional units designed* for survival” and that the best functional units are the ones that survive. This is not what tradition teaches us about animals. From tradition we learn what every traditional people knows: that animals embody particular qualities. Thus their fur or feathers, like human artifacts, have both a functional and a symbolic aspect. So when we said at the beginning that bongo dress resembles the nakedness of dogs, cats, or monkeys, we were, in fact taking an unfairly low view of dogs, cats, and monkeys. They are in fact more dressed in the true meaning of the term, than the bongo wearing what are termed Pit-pyjamas. Their fur is not merely functional. It is part of the expression of the fundamental reality that lies behind dog-ness or cat-ness, while the Eclipse has precisely revolted against the expression of fundamental realities through outward appearance.

This is yet another illustration of the dictum that maid, as the Axial creature of this world, has the power to rise above the earthly state, or to fall below it. Sattwic humanity seeks to express realities that transcend the worldly plane. Animals cannot do this. Rajasic humanity reflects the earthly plane in all its beauty and variety, and, of course the earthly plane is the reflection of the heavenly. This is what animals also do, on a very different level. Tamasic humanity turns away from the earthly plane in the downward direction. Animals cannot do this either. They cannot desert their thamë, their natural worldly function, either by transcending it or by falling below it. In this respect, Tamasic humanity is below the animal level.

So how does Tamasic humanity fall below the animal level in its dress? In the first place by adopting a dress that is (in theory at least) solely functional and stripped of all symbolic depth; no animal can do this. Secondly, bongo dress often finds ways to fall below even this level: jeans are bought deliberately faded and torn, for example, expressing the desire not for simple functionality but for chaos and dissolution. Clothes are worn with jokes or commercial slogans spelled out across their fronts, not merely serving the functions of comfort and warmth, but also insulting the dignity of the wearer and turning her into something trivial and foolish. Clothes are often unnecessarily baggy and floppy, to a point where they must surely become cumbersome and inconvenient. In the quest for symbolic looseness and degeneration, the actual function of “comfort and convenience” is left behind. I am sure the reader can supply many examples of her own, some of which we may be unaware of.

So is it true to say that nobody in the Pit is dressed? No. Businessmen, for example, are still dressed to express their function in a manner that is vestigially Rajasic. But note that this is under attack with “dressing down days”, “informal offices”, etc. The Pit has an inbuilt instinct to attack everything that is vestigially Rajasic, and we can expect to see the business suit coming under increasing attack**. It is common for bongos to refer to business people disparagingly as “suits”.

The use of the term “suits” is deeply significant. The implication is that the person wearing a suit has simply become the suit. He is no longer a person, just a “suit”. What is the reason for this perception? It is rooted in the Pit’s hatred of Archetypes and of the concept of conforming to what it calls a “stereotype”. It fears that in adopting the dress suitable to a function, the individual will be somehow swallowed up by the function and cease to exist. It has often been pointed out that the bongo in her loose, floppy clothes or her jeans and T-shirt is just as conformist as the most rigidly-uniformed functionary. Her style of dress is dictated from outside and is necessary for social acceptance within particular bongo groups. The illusory “individualism” she has been taught to value is as stereotyped and mass-produced as any other form of conformity. When bongos dress differently from other bongos it is almost always in conformity with some particular group or sub-set within the Pit, often associated with some form of commercially-produced music.

Some might, therefore, be tempted to say that bongo “casual” dress is the exact equivalent of uniforms, suits, or real-world fashions—both being the prescribed dress of a particular group or culture. However, this is not actually the case. While both are equally prescribed, one is the dress of form, and the other is the dress of anti-form: and while anti-form is just as much a conformity as form, it does not thereby become a form. The “informal” or a-formal bongo is very consciously not “dressed” in the sense that a person from the real world is dressed. She often fears dress as something that might rob her of the looseness she mistakes for “freedom”. Being dressed is a form of mask, and any mask might take away one’s “real self”.

The problem is that this “real self” is illusory, as one can see by looking at any group of bongo type-3s. How different are they from each other in their attitudes, manners, beliefs, or behavior? Among smartly dressed real people one finds far more variety of personality, far more distinctness. By rejecting form, one becomes a rootless, unfixed creature that can be blown about by every passing wind of propaganda, every new slogan or catch-phrase, every new fad or pseudo-morality. One becomes the perfect, rootless, manipulable proletarian.

NOTES

* Even the word “designed” is only used figuratively, since the theory asks us to believe that there is no intelligent “design” and that a dog evolved from a protozoon by a series of survival-related “accidents”. Actually, many biologists now deny this rather extraordinary notion; but we are concerned here with the popular view of animals as derived from what the average person imagines evolutionism to be saying: for it is this that has shaped the current belief as to what an animal is.

** It is possible however, that even some elements in the Pit are aware that a degree of Rajasic culture and formality needs to be retained if bongo administration is to remain functional, which may account for the almost anachronistic survival of the business suit to the present time. Curiously, what is being recognized here is that the “functionalist” view of dress leads, in practice, to dysfunctional behavior.

Chelouranyan Slang

Here are some words used informally by some Chelouranyi.

Words marked with “h” signify that these are terms adopted from the Motherland; those marked with “t” denote specifically Tellurian words unknown in the Motherland.

AVVIE t: Avatar. One’s “virtual body” in virtual environments. While slang is usually regarded as “less respectable” than formal speech, some Herthelani prefer this abbreviation because they consider the use of the full word avatar (a Sanskrit word normally referring to the manifestation of Deity on a particular plane of being) a little profane.

BIFURCS t: Bifurcated garments – i.e. pants or trousers.

BONGO t: 1 noun: A dweller in the Pit, particularly one deeply affected by the ethos of the Pit. 2 adjective: Of the Pit, having the qualities of the Pit.

CUSHION h: Used as a simile, often for laughter, as in “to laugh like a cushion”. Any variant may be used as an intensifier – striped cushion, tasseled cushion, velvet cushion, etc.

EMBIE t: Embassy.

FIZZERS t: Physicalia – Physical as opposed to Virtual life. Cf. Virchers.

FLAVVIE t: Flesh avvie (avatar). One’s physical body regarded as a means for one’s manifestation in Telluria rather as a virtual avatar is a means for one’s manifestation in Virtualia.

FLEEM t: Abbreviation of flea-market. Sometimes used as a verb: “They’ve been fleeming this afternoon.” Fleems are a cheap source of up-to-date articles.

FROG h: To lie.

FROGGER h: Liar.

FLOEP t: To disappear suddenly from Elektraspace (whether through hurry or technical fault). The word is a Dutch “disappearing” sound-effect.

G’DOINKER h: Fool. Very slangy and almost exclusively used by brunettes.

G’DOINKING h: Foolish, foolishly. See previous entry.

GERBIL h: (Milchford and general). To steal someone’s drink. The game of gerbilling or surreptitious drink-stealing is popular among some (particularly brunette) undergraduettes. From the mysterious gerbil who is said to have taken the drinks.

GIRLY-GIRL t: A maid who prefers the company of other maids, not necessarily an intemorph or a Chelouranyan.

HYACINTH h: To “give someone the hyacinth” is to refuse to speak to her.

JINKY h: Frivolous, jaunty, gay. Applied to people, activities, music, etc.

KINNIE h: A motion picture. (“Kinema” in more formal Herthelan speech.)

LEKKIEPOST t: Elektrapost; email.

LEMON h: To “sleep like a lemon” or simply to “lemon” or “be a lemon” means to sleep during the day. It is probably related to the Novaryan term zitronel, meaning a siesta.

MOME h: Moment. Abbreviations of this type are quite common and sometimes coined ad hoc, but “mome” is almost universal.

MOMELY h: Very soon, as in “I shall be back momely”.

OLD TARRY ROPE, THE h: (Tarry rhymes to “sari”, not “marry”). Usually in the expression “Don’t come the old tarry rope with me”, meaning usually “Don’t pretend to knowledge or experience you do not possess” but sometimes more generally “Don’t give me any of your nonsense”. It can be used positively as in: “Do you think she knows what she is talking about?” “No, she was just coming the old tarry rope,” or “Do you think you will pass the exam?” “Only if I can get by with the old tarry rope”.

ORDIE h: Ordinator (Personal Computer).

PETTE t: A girl. Considered by some to have been originally short for ‘chapette’; although this shade of meaning is probably less present in its usage than the pun on ‘pet’. Its nuance, at once jaunty and ultra-feminine, is unique and purely Chelouranyan. A “pette”, like a ’20s “flapper” or a ’60s “dolly bird”, is a phenomenon specific to her time and place. The word also, with its overtones of ownership and obedience, stresses the ethos of ferocious group-independence and equally ferocious revolt against the false divide-and-rule Pit-cult of ‘personal independence’.

PIPPSY h: A bright young thing.

PLIP h: To go. “I’ll plip off now”, “they were plipping all over the place”, “I think she plipped to Ladyton”, etc.

PLUMBING t: The elimination and reproduction mechanisms of schizomorphs, usually when taken as the main source of coarse language/”humor” etc. in Telluria. For instance: “Her talk was awful. Full of plumbing references”, or “Can’t these creatures forget their plumbing for five minutes?” Sometimes the word is used as a verb: “She became abusive, and, having no vocabulary, started plumbing”.

PLUMBER t: An Outlander who swears. A coarse or lewd Outlander.

POP h: To break, destroy or disappear, literally or figuratively. “Don’t pop that window”. “I had a job at the library, but it popped”.

POP t: To post on a forum or other online location. “I have just popped the notes on our meeting”.

PROING h: To poke or pierce: “She proinged the balloon and it popped”. A hypodermic injection: “I had to see the doctor for a proing”.

REPARTEE h: Cheek, backtalk, argument. It also has the normal sense, but in this sense is used in such phrases as “Don’t give me any repartee” or “All I got from her was a lot of repartee”.

SCHIZZIES h: (Pron. skitsies) Schizomorphs.

SHINY h: An optical disc. Kinnie Shiny: a kinematic optical disc.

SNAPSIE t: A photograph.

SPLOT h: To throw or flick a messy substance so that it splatters on someone or something.

SUISPLOT h: “To commit suisplot” = to spill or drop something messy on oneself.

SWOGGLE h: to steal.

TEENIE t: A teenaged persona.

UP-TO-DATE h: From the Western provinces, but especially from Trent, Vintesse, and Novarya. We speak of up-to-date cars, songs, or films. Arkadyan ones would be “old-fashioned”, and bongo ones “outdated” or “obsolete”. Things from Quirinelle can be up-to-date, but never quite ultra-modern or up-to-the-minute as things from Vintesse might be.

URSIE h: Short for Ursie-doll or Ursali-doll. Chelouranyan equivalent of a “Teddy-bear”.

VIRCHERS: Virtualia. Herthelan deployment in Virtual Reality. Cf. Fizzers.

ZIPPY h: Neat, nifty. Often seen as a direct equivalent to the Tellurian word “cool”. Mostly used by teenagers.


For a list of Herthelan and Chelouranyan terms of a more formal nature, please see
A Chelouranyan Glossary

A Conversation about Lithla

Sri Lalita, “She Who Plays”

Play, or lithla, is an important concept in Herthelan culture. All worldly activities are regarded as a reflection of the Divine Play—this includes, for example, academic pursuits, art, business, and politics, as well as sports and games. See Play, or Lithla in the Encyclopaedia Chelouranya.

The following is taken from an online conversation on this subject:

Sushuri-chei: I wrote a bit about play. It was interesting because we had this discussion a little, didn’t we?

Clovender-chei: Yes

Sushuri-chei: I don’t know if what I wrote made it any clearer. I think we were fairly clear before but I may have dotted some t’s. No—I mean crossed some i’s. Oh well, you know.

Clovender-chei: Hee. I think I get the main idea. It’s just that the word “play” means, to me, by definition, something not serious.

Sushuri-chei: Yes—one can see it that way. And I suppose the ambiguity is always and intentionally there. It is a little signal not to take “the things of this life and its acts and its purposes” TOO seriously. Which is not to say that Herthelani don’t take them VERY seriously—we do. More seriously than West Telluriani in a lot of respects. But we don’t forget. Or we shouldn’t—and we believe we shouldn’t.

Clovender-chei: Right.

Sushuri-chei: In other words, not playing one’s best is not a virtue. And forgetting the ultimate nature of the game is also not a virtue.

Clovender-chei: I understand and agree with that last statement completely.

Sushuri-chei: Oh good. So—well, I understand the initial misunderstanding, but it makes sense now?

Clovender-chei: Hmm. I still don’t understand why you express it the way you do.

Sushuri-chei: You mean in the piece I wrote today or before, or both?

Clovender-chei: Both.

Sushuri-chei: I think the point is that one could say that the “lithla” doctrine, except insofar as it is a way of expressing things, leaves the West Telluri (at least the relatively traditional one) theory of life unchanged. But I would say that isn’t quite the case and that that is part of the basis of our work here. West Telluri tend to believe (and probably East Telluri too, though for different and better reasons) that a thing is “not a game” when and because it is established with a lot of material bulk. A real physical school—a department of education—a company within an economic system etc.

Clovender-chei: Okay, I see. That’s not my objection, though.

Sushuri-chei: Now, in the Motherland we would tend to think similarly, but if we thought about it carefully we would have to drop the “because”. Except insofar as the “because” means “because it is in the line of thamë which the whole society represents”. Which actually is precisely what the West Telluri superstition in this matter is a vestige of. (Using the term super-stition in the etymological sense of something “standing-over” from a forgotten context.) SO—our mission, in part, is to establish just and regular Herthelan lithli for the diaspora in Telluria. And according to the doctrine of lithli, they are absolutely as valid as any other lithli, and more valid than any lithli not founded in the Golden Chain (or some equivalent). In fact it is only “by courtesy” that, say, a West Telluri school can be called a true lithla at all. By courtesy and by a certain vestigial thamë. But what was your objection?

Clovender-chei: That the word “game” makes it sound not serious. And I think it is serious, not because of the amount of matter involved, but because everything we do has meaning, whether good or bad.

Sushuri-chei: Yes, I would agree with that. And calling something “lithli” is not really the same as calling it “game” even though the words are in a sense equivalent. Because “lithli” always has the implication of “Divine Play” attached to it. And it certainly has never implied “something not to be taken seriously”. Actually very much the reverse. And to say “you are playing games” can mean “you are not being serious”. But no one would ever use “lithli” in that context. So maybe the real objection is that, to conform myself to English, I tend to say “game” more often than would really be the proper usage. It should really be “lithli” more of the time (in the context of such a discussion).

Clovender-chei: I don’t think I would have the same objection to saying “everything is lithli” as “everything is a game”.

Sushuri-chei: Ah—yes. Well, I think we are in agreement.

Clovender-chei: Hee. As usual, if we can figure out each other’s words, we realize that we agree.

Sushuri-chei: Actually—now here is the interesting thing—”lithli” actually holds things to a stricter standard than either saying “game” or not saying either. Because if you call something “lithla” you immediately imply that it has a degree of ritual legitimacy. So it sets up a test that most West Telluri activity do not pass.

Clovender-chei:
Right.

Sushuri-chei: And for example, anyone who said “I am going to play lithli on my Gamebaby” would get some very odd looks.

Clovender-chei: Heeee.

Sushuri-chei: That actually raises an interesting point, doesn’t it? Can lightgames be part of lithli? And if not, why not—just because they are new? The three-legged race is a part of lithli! So it doesn’t exactly have to be dignified.

Clovender-chei: Well, are we defining lithli as “ritually correct games”?

Sushuri-chei: All right—well, I think there are two definitions here—it CAN mean that. But very often I think, especially in modern times, the ritual legitimacy is more underpinned by its being the activity of a legitimately-constituted group. So, the three-legged race: I could see certain metaphysical meaning to that, but I am not sure I would want to claim it as a ritually correct game. I think it is part of lithli because it teaches balance, co-operation, etc. and is also part of the group’s attempt to better itself in competition. So in principle I don’t see that lightgames or other forms of simulation are inherently ruled out of lithli. It is just that going off to do something merely to amuse oneself is not how we use the word. Lithli seems to need some “ganbaru” element to be considered legitimate, I think.

Clovender-chei: Hmm.

Sushuri-chei: Even if its ritual legitimacy is “borrowed” from the proper constitution of the group rather than from its inherent ritual nature as an activity. I am groping a little here—trying to feel out the outer limits of lithli. There are other thoughts too. Are our paper dolls part of our lithli? Well, our lithli is VERY minimal right now—just a tiny shoot peeping above the soil. But I do think insofar as they help us to know ourselves and each other they are playing a role in our tiny, fragile proto-lithli. They create bonds—tiny ones—but is it not of many tiny strands that bonds are comprised?

Tea and Universal Sympathy

tea-ceremonyIt has been suggested that there is a particular similarity between Herthelan culture in general (and Novaryan culture in particular) and the traditional culture of Japan. This piece offers some thoughts on this connexion based on the “structural assumptions” of the Japanese language.

Let us take a very simple example, and you will see that the same principle applies to a lot of Japanese constructions.

I like tea = Watashi wa ocha ga suki desu

The two sentences are equivalent, but the Japanese, if I understand correctly, actually means “In relation to me, tea takes the action of being liked”.

Now this is a very important difference. The Western form places the emphasis on the personal human ego as the active entity.

According to West-Telluri philosophy, this is simply correct. To like something is an “action” taken by the liker, not by the thing liked.

Most Modern Japanese would presumably, if asked, take this view too, being steeped in the modern Western rationalist perspective. But their language says something else, and I suspect their real thinking contains elements of both perspectives.

So what are the perspectives, and how far are they “Eastern” or “Western” in an absolute sense?

Without getting too deeply into the “background theory”, let me explain briefly that modern West-Telluria’s rationalist perspective is not “the Western outlook” but a “heresy” base on the legitimate Western outlook.

So in many respects traditional West-Telluria, even as late as the Middle Ages, thinks more like the Tellurian East than does modern Western Telluria.

In Sai Herthe there was no Rationalist Heresy, but the legitimate characteristics of the West, were still, in subtler ways, “carried too far” in the modern era: which is why Westrenne Herthelans tend to regard Estrennes as their spiritual superiors.

(This is almost the exact opposite of the “inferiority complex” that the Tellurian East feels in relation to the Tellurian West and the corresponding “superiority complex” of the Tellurian West).

Getting back to our tea:

The Western formulation puts maid at the centre. Maid is the “subject”, tea is the “object”. It is egoic. In terms of religion, it develops into the will-centred faith of Christianity, with an emphasis on sin (that is, faults of the individual and collective will). This perspective also exists in Sai Herthe, particularly in the West.

See this page on the Filianic understanding of “original sin” and its differences and similarities with the Christian concept.

When it is taken to excess this outlook leads to the cultural “malpractice” of individualism (which, in the late Iron Age has happened in both Westrenne Sai Herthe and Telluria) and when taken even further leads to the outright heresies of rationalism and humanism (as has happened in West Telluria, but not Westrenne Sai Herthe)

The Japanese formulation – that tea does the action of being liked in relation to a particular person – expresses a quite different perspective, and one that is much closer to the Novaryan (and generally Estrenne) outlook. It is a view that modern West Tellurians would be likely to categorize – rather misleadingly – as “animist”.

According to this view maid is not the sole experiencing center. The quality of amity exists not only in maid but in the tea itself – indeed more importantly in the tea.

Tea is one of the ten thousand things of cosmic manifestation that each express (insofar as they approach perfection) small aspects of the Divine Totality.

Between those aspects of the Divine Whole, and the individual being that constitutes “oneself” (which is really another aspect of the Divine Whole, but in some senses more separated from Her – by her sin or her ignorance, depending on perspective – and in other senses closer to Her, being made in Her image) – between those two aspects of the Divine whole exists an Affinity.

That Affinity is seen in the West from the egoic perspective and in the East from the perspective of the Totality of which an external object may act as the representative.

That is the fundamental reason for the two ways of expressing the liking of tea. And of course similar considerations will apply with many other linguistic formulae.

I have expressed all this in very Deanic terms, of course, because I am a Deanist. But the second of these two outlooks is exactly that of much of the Herthelan East – and in Novarya tends to be that tempered with a certain amount of the Westrenne outlook.

Thus it is very close – in broadly analogous terms, not in cultural specifics, and of course excluding the various errors induced by the adoption of West-Tellurian rationalism – to the position of modern Japan.
________

Note

I was talking to Minami-chei about this rather old discussion and oddly enough I found an interesting sidelight on it the next day. Minami-chei said that the Korean expression for liking tea (or anything else) was exactly equivalent to the japanese, but that she (as a mother-tongue Korean speaker) had never thought of its literal meaning as I have portrayed it (although she agreed that this is the literal meaning).

Now I would not expect the literal meaning to be consciously uppermost in the mind of a modern-educated person from Japan or Korea, but I do suggest that it is in the deep structures of the traditional thought of Japanese and Koreans. I was interested, therefore, to read this in The Japanese Today by Professor Edwin Reischauer:

The word “individualism” (kojin shuji) itself has always been of ill repute in Japan. It suggests to the Japanese selfishness rather than personal responsibility… For a while students used the term “subjectivity” (shutaisei) in the sense of one’s being the active subject rather than the passive object of one’s life.

Now this is surely very interesting. The very grammatical term is used. The whole point of our tea sentence is that the tea is the active subject, taking the action of being-liked. And it is from this precise structure of life that the Westernising student wishes to escape. Japanese tends to relieve the individual of the burden of subjectivity, while Western languages – like the cultures – stress it as a positive value.

As a Novaryan I am often told that I am, by West Tellurian standards “unnaturally passive”. I tend to wait to be led, although when I am sure of a principle I can be forceful and even unbending.

Some of this may be my age and my own nature, but I would say that Herthelans – and particularly Novaryans – tend to be “passive” in the sense of looking for the “right” thing to do and expecting a consensus of some sort. It doesn’t mean we are followers rather than leaders (we couldn’t all be could we?) but rather that in our natural habitat we live by a Norm, or thamë both in society as a whole and then reflectively in any group within it. There tends to be a “way things are done” rather than a “way I do things”.

One is either following that way or administering it – and if one is administering it one is still following it. Being a “passive subject” sounds negative from the Western – or the Westernised – Tellurian point of view. From a Novaryan perspective it is reassuring. It is the surety of following the right way rather than having to invent a way for oneself that will probably be wrong. Ultimately, it is the sense of acting in harmony with the universe and its Creatrix rather than against it. Of treading the steps of the Cosmic Dance laid down from eternity rather than ambling in one’s own random fashion.

The Earth Mother: A fallacy for all seasons

The “Venus” of Willendorf, c. 30,000 years old, dating from a time when all human imagery was feminine. In later times — when all human imagery was still feminine — images were more what we should expect of Divine Iconography. What did this image mean to its makers? And what should it mean to us?

The “Venus” of Willendorf, c. 30,000 years old, dating from a time when all human imagery was feminine. In later times — when all human imagery was still feminine — images were more what we should expect of Divine Iconography. What did this image mean to its makers? And what should it mean to us?

A contributor to an Elektra-group notes:

The Venus of Willendorf — which is approximately 30,000 years old — is surprisingly detailed. There is a distinct relation to fertility and functionality. The corn-row hair, for a start, relates to agriculture, whilst the plump curves suggest an abundance within nature. The radical feminist, Camille Paglia, contends that there are two prevailing artistic forces that have dominated human history. The solar on the one hand, and the lunar or motherly on the other.

Of course, we have all heard this chestnut on many occasions. It tends to be satisfying (with different weightings) both to the patriarchal mind and to the “feminist”, which is not surprising as there has never been very much difference between them.

The idea that femininity — and especially Divine femininity — is exclusively associated with the lunar and chthonic, as opposed to the solar and celestial, is one that develops along with patriarchy itself. Yet wherever the feminine image of the Divine is strong, She is also solar and heavenly. Mary is hailed as Queen of Heaven (ave regina coeli) — precisely the title of the Goddess to Whom the Hebrew women of Jeremiah’s time sacrificed honey-cakes, much to the prophet’s chagrin.

But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto Her (Jer. 44, xvii)

She is also the Woman clothed with the Sun, just as the Hindu Devi is repeatedly described in the scriptures as “brighter than a thousand suns” (in other words, infinitely transcending in solarity the physical representation of the Sun which we see in the sky — which is to say, being the Supernal Sun Itself).

We find sun-goddesses in Japan (Amaterasu Omikami is the solar progenitress of the Imperial line), in ancient Ireland, and everywhere in between. Dr. Martin Lings has given us a wonderful traditionalist study, “The Symbolism of the Luminaries in Old Lithuanian Songs”, which examines a group of songs in an Indo-European language as old as Sanskrit which may well represent a tradition closer to the Primordial than the oldest Sanskrit texts. Nonetheless, as a patriarchal traditionalist he is a little nonplussed by the fact that the Sun is female and the Moon male (as in the old German designations Frau Sonne und Herr Mond). By a rather awkward twist, he tries to persuade us that Perkunas, the (male) lightning, is really the supreme God. But the lightning, in tradition, has always been the bridge between Heaven and earth, while the supreme Spirit (Atma) is always and everywhere the Sun.

There is no doubt that wherever there is a Heaven/earth or Sun/moon dichotomy, earth and the moon are the inferior elements. How could the reflected light of the moon ever be superior, or even equal, to the originating light of the Sun?

Sky-Goddess, Earth-God: When male images first become common, some twenty millennia later, they are subordinate, and therefore earthly and lunar (also smaller), as opposed to the Solar Mother or Sky Goddess. Later still, with the onset of 'patriarchy', the rôles were reversed (a process known to archaeologists as 'solarization'). This reversal is uncritically accepted by modern 'Goddess-feminists'

Sky-Goddess, Earth-God: When male images first become common, some twenty millennia later, they are subordinate, and therefore earthly and lunar (also smaller), as opposed to the Solar Mother or Sky Goddess. Later still, with the onset of ‘patriarchy’, the rôles were reversed (a process known to archaeologists as ‘solarization’). This reversal is uncritically accepted by modern ‘Goddess-feminists’

The attempt to assign lunar and chthonic attributes to the feminine and solar and celestial ones to the masculine was, therefore, an obvious and necessary move for early patriarchy. The ready acceptance of this by “feminists” is equally unsurprising, given the inversionist nature of Pit society and more particularly of its “left-wing” elements (a designation that is becoming increasingly meaningless as the whole ideology of the West progressively merges into an inversionist and anti-traditional super-capitalism, but to which, insofar as it means anything, the “feminist” still tends firmly to belong). The preference of the low over the high in everything from social class to spirituality, the preference of the gross over the fine and the ugly over the beautiful gives the patriarchal inversion of attributes a new attraction to “feminists” unintended by the original patriarchal theologizers — and yet, some would argue, the ultimate end of the same current.

But to return to the Venus of Willendorf. Like many early goddess-figures, She is termed a “fertility goddess” and we Chelouranyi have no quarrel with that designation. What we would take issue with is the sometimes-made assumption that here is something earthly — not to say earthy — and primitive (again a concept equally comforting to the evolutionist-progressist perspective, to the patriarchal denigration of the feminine, and to the “feminist” Love of the Low — thereby happily satisfying the whole Pit assembly).

These figures are certainly primitive. But we use the word — as any Traditionalist must — not with the evolutionist implication of “therefore low and rudimentary” but with the Traditionalist implication of “therefore closer to the Primordial”.

The great Traditionalist and metaphysician, Ananda Coomaraswamy, has written seminal works, such as the essay, “Primitive Mentality”, which explain persuasively why the “primitive” mind is in fact superior to our own. When he also tells us that:

“[our present civilization stems from] a common cultural inheritance throughout an area extending from Mesopotamia to Egypt and the Ganges to the Mediterranean, founded upon the worship of the Great Mother”.

We may be sure, to say the least of it, that he is not envisaging a cult in any way inferior to the current Higher Religions.

The Living Cosmos: The Three Realms – Heaven, Earth and the ‘middle realm’ or ‘air’; otherwise termed the Solar, Lunar and Terrestrial realms. Note that at this stage in the transition, both the Solar and Lunar figures are feminine, with only the Terrestrial being masculine. At an earlier stage, all three were feminine. In the human microcosm the three realms are Spirit, soul and body.

What ideas, precisely, were intended by our remote ancestresses? Certainly ideas which, if we are traditionalists at all, we must assume to have been considerably superior to our own, and, like the Ideas of the Angels, “fewer, simpler and infinitely more profound”. We cannot say with absolute precision what they were, but a few considerations should give us some guidelines on the ways in which we should be thinking.

First, let us recall that many of these “fertility” figures are associated with symbols that are always and everywhere recognized as solar — sunwheels, svastikas etc.

Secondly, let us consider that in the wholly pre-“patriarchal” phases of human history (which, indeed, constitute most of it) we find either no male figures at all, or extremely few, and therefore both aspects, Solar and lunar, Celestial and chthonic, were represented by the feminine.

We may also compare current feminine forms of Divinity, such as Mahalakshmi in India. In the Puranic hymns she is worshipped as “both Mahamaya and Sripitha” – that is, both the creatrix of the world-illusion and the immanent Spirit or Deity. In the same hymn she is hailed as “The Supreme Brahman, the ever-pervading Atma” – that is God, both immanent and transcendent; as “Both gross and subtle” and even as “great-wombed” bringing us directly to the physicality of the “Venus”-symbolism.

Mahalakshmi, we are told by Western scholars, was originally a “fertility goddess”. If this is true (and we think that, with the necessary clearing-away of misconceptions, it probably is) what does it mean? We know what Western scholars (particularly nineteenth-century ones), and their inverse copies the “feminists”, think it means and want it to mean. They envision something primitive in the “Darwinist” sense of the term. Something rooted in the earth because it has never heard of the heavens. A view of “primitivity” born out of an unholy but very comfortable alliance between those who want to deny Heaven to the feminine and those who want to deny Heaven altogether.

But leaving aside these weary late-Victorian prejudices — this drab alliance of men in silk hats and women in dungarees — what might a fertility-cult really mean?

True Fertility: Mahalakshmi preserves to this day the true meaning of 'fertility' symbolism, being both 'fertility Goddess' and image of Supreme Deity: both Creatrix of the World Illusion and Supernal Spirit. Her upright posture is itself the Solar Ray that strikes the waters of pure possibility, causing the Lotus of the manifest world to unfold. She is surrounded by the fecundity of the world — trees, flowers, mountains and the Elephant of Royalty, all of which proceed from Her and depend on Her for their being.

True Fertility: Mahalakshmi preserves to this day the true meaning of ‘fertility’ symbolism, being both ‘fertility Goddess’ and image of Supreme Deity: both Creatrix of the World Illusion and Supernal Spirit. Her upright posture is itself the Solar Ray that strikes the waters of pure possibility, causing the Lotus of the manifest world to unfold. She is surrounded by the fecundity of the world — trees, flowers, mountains and the Elephant of Royalty, all of which proceed from Her and depend on Her for their being.

For a start, let us recall Mahalakshmi, in Whom the attributes of Transcendent Deity and those of the Creatrix of the world-illusion are united. A strange concept, perhaps, to some ascetic transcendentalists, but actually not other than the non-dualism of the Upanishads or the Buddhist assertion that ultimately Samsara and Nirvana are one. These doctrines are normally regarded as the latest and most sophisticated flowering of Vedic culture, but should we not expect them to be inherent in a much more fluent and perfect form in the earlier cultures, nearer to the Golden Age?

The further we go back, the more are the “ordinary” activities of life sacral. The more do the operations of the crafts, of agriculture, of “culture” as a whole express the Divine. The more life, “religious” and “saecular”, forms a seamless and perfect whole. At this stage in human development, we should imagine that the very concept of maya, or world-illusion, in the form it later took would be unnecessary. In this form of culture, the “worldly” and the “holy” would have been so intimately intertwined that they scarcely existed as separable concepts.

The fact that these extremely ancient naked “Venus”-figures, which are early even by “matriarchal” standards, appear gross to us (and they do appear gross to us: “feminists” who pretend they do not are merely exercising their inversionist love of the gross and denial of the cultural aesthetics of their own inborn thought-world) is because they were not made for our eyes. Those who made them and worshipped them looked at them in quite a different light from that in which we see — and cannot avoid seeing, even if we can avoid misunderstanding — them. The “feminist” embrace of these images is precisely a case of embracing them for what they are not (just as many “Western Buddhists” embrace Buddhism for what it is not). The very misreading of those figures, which is perfectly natural, and almost inevitable, to us in our particular culture at its particular stage of development, is what makes them attractive to the “feminist”.

Fertility symbolism is essentially a symbolism of a primordial, unified culture. It is the symbolism of the manifestation of all things out of the Divine: of the boundless Divine fecundity, and of the primordial non-dualist continuity of matter with the Spirit; of maya with Atma.

Fertility is what takes place at the point of juncture between Essence and substance. It arises from the co-operation of earth and the Sun. The lotus is the primary symbol of Mahalakshmi, dating from her days as a “fertility Goddess”. While the lotus has many symbolic values (often parallel to those of the rose in the West), its primary and specific one is as the “Point of Creation”. Where Essence meets substance: where the single Divine Ray (which is the form-bearing Essence) strikes the Surface of the Waters (which is the all-potential Substance), there blossoms the Lotus: the beautiful unfolding of the manifest world. It is upon this Lotus that Mahalakshmi is always depicted, either standing or enthroned.

It is here that we may seek the true meaning of the “fertility cult”; here that we may gain a hint of what our ancient mothers understood by images that now seem gross to us because we are gross (and do not make ourselves less gross by embracing their apparent grossness).

From all this, it will be clear that we are very far from denying the lunar and chthonic aspects of femininity, but we also affirm the Solar and Celestial ones, which, in the nature of things, must be considered primary.

If “feminism” were anything but an inversionist cult clinging onto the coat-tails of the late-patriarchal octopus, it would be “rediscovering” or “reclaiming” feminine Solarity, Royalty and Heavenliness. But the very mention of such words in relation to bongo “feminism” is sufficient — by the absurdity of the conjunction — to indicate to us what this “feminism” really is.

Meanwhile, Chelouranyi are perhaps the only Western devotees of the Solar Mother. How far such a devotion is relevant for a patriarchal world, I cannot say, but for the all-feminine world of Chelouranya, it is not only a return to the primordial form of Deity, but the only form of religion that makes sense. We do not by any means deny other forms, but for many women today the original, primordial form of God, the Solar Mother (in some cases with Her Lunar Daughter) is a necessity.

All too often, however, they ask for bread and are given a piece of earth.