Saturday, July 23, 2011
Galya is carrying water, the yoke is bending,
Behind her Ivanko is twisting like periwinkle.
Galya, my Galya, give me some water,
You are so lovely, let me enjoy loooking at you.
Water is in the well, go and get some,
I'll be in the garden, come and look at me.
Creep, periwinkle, I will water you,
Come back, Ivanko, I will respect you.
Lespezi mari, în spatele cărora se deschid grote. Sînt îmbinate perfect, iar între ele, nimic. Straturile de piatră alternează cu straturi de pietricele, ca o zidărie din cărămizi şi mortar. Deşi pare să fie vorba de o construcţie omenească, nu e exclusă nici posibilitatea ca totul să fie un joc al naturii.
Însă brăneanul Valentin Tîrcă e convins că descoperirea lui este o construcţie realizată cu tehnologie necunoscută, acum 18 milioane de ani. Doar cercetările ştiinţifice la faţa locului vor demonstra dacă sîntem sau nu în faţa unei descoperiri arheologice importante.
Aceste piramide sînt astăzi munţi şi dealuri artificial împădurite, aşa încît nimeni n-ar mai bănui că sub stratul de pămînt se ascund încăperi şi tunele.
În zona Rîşnovului, sînt cel puţin şapte piramide aliniate, începînd cu cea pe care e aşezată cetatea şi pe care, după cum a observat Valentin într-o litografie din secolul XIX, a fost doar piatră, ca dovadă că dealul a fost cîndva piramidă. A făcut descoperirea la a şaptea piramidă începînd de la cetate către Pîrîul Rece.
E mai mică, de numai 30 de metri înălţime, dar plină de surprize. Ceea ce a găsit brăneanul este un perete format din cărămizi de gresie, îmbinate cu mortar. Aşezarea lor regulată pare să conducă la ipoteza că e vorba de o zidărie făcută de mîna omului.
Dar cît de veche? Ce rost avea şi cine a construit-o? Evident, fiinţele din altă galaxie, crede Valentin, care vede construcţia drept o bază extraterestră din gresie, pentru protejarea de radiaţii a locatarilor, tencuită cu sol şi copaci, pentru derutarea rasei umane.
Pe fiecare piatră se poate observa un fel de smalţ lucios, aşa cum arăta iniţial piramida la exterior. Acest smalţ nu se confundă cu depunerile de aluviuni“, explică arheologul amator, convins că din acelaşi tip de material de construcţie sînt făcute şi celebrele piramide de la Şona.
„Pietrele cu pereţi concavi se îmbină perfect cu pietrele cu pereţi convecşi. Natura nu are matriţe pentru aşa ceva. Aveau dacii sau medievalii flexuri?“, se întreabă el, ironic.
Dacă am putea decoperta dealul, ar ieşi la lumină o frumuseţe de piramidă, asemănătoare celor din Egipt sau Mexic.
Ca dovadă, îşi aminteşte că, într-o altă piramidă-deal din Rîşnov, acum şapte ani, un puşti a intrat printr-o parte şi a ieşit în alta, după ce a trecut printr-o sală imensă. După acelaşi principiu, ar trebui ca şi dealul lui să aibă o intrare secretă.
Cît despre vechimea zidăriei îngropate, ar fi fost ridicată acum 18 milioane de ani, cu mult înainte de apariţia omului, de pe vremea cînd pe Pămînt trăia o civilizaţie colonizatoare venită din Constelaţia Dragonului.
Înarmat cu această teorie, a încercat să afle şi părerea oamenilor de ştiinţă, arătîndu-le cîteva poze şi un bolovan din dealul cu descoperirea. Unii l-au trimis la plimbare, alţii au promis că vor cerceta la faţa locului.
„Este o gresie cenomaniană, adică din mezozoic. Nisipul, cimentîndu-se, a format astfel de plăci, iar prin mişcări tectonice, acestea se pot aşeza în diferite moduri. Această piatră este foarte bună pentru ascuţit coasa“, spune specialistul în soluri şi roci.
Totuşi, privind forma regulată a cărămizii de gresie, el admite că „se poate şi să fi fost tăiată de mîna omului, înainte de a se depune pe ea ceva“. Dar cine s-o fi tăiat? În mezozoic, adică acum 250 milioane de ani, omul încă nu apăruse pe Pămînt.
Profesorul Adrian Rusu de la Facultatea de Arheologie din Cluj, specialistul care conduce şantierul arheologic de la cetatea Rîşnov, e dezamăgit. Nici pe departe, descoperirea lui Valentin nu e o construcţie umană. Nicolae Pepene, directorul Direcţiei de Cultură din cadrul Primăriei Rîşnov, nu exclude posibilitatea de a fi în faţa unei descoperiri.
„Din poze nu reiese nimic clar. Poate să fie şi o amenajare de acum o sută de ani, poate să fie şi una foarte veche. Poate să nu fie nimic. Trebuie văzut la locul faptei“, spune istoricul, care şi-a propus să ajungă la faţa locului cît mai curînd.
„În anumite imagini, nu pare să fie niciun dubiu că e o zidărie din perioada medievală, după tehnică şi materiale. Se văd asizele de egalizare, iar piatra pare prelucrată. Dar natura e şi ea un constructor talentat. Trebuie văzut înainte să ne pronunţăm.
Contează forma dealului, omul lucrează după un plan, natura, după altul. Lîngă zid trebuie să existe şi artefacte, ceramică în special. Nicio realizare umană nu rămîne izolată. Trebuie să văd contextul general, deocamdată, această piatră nu e decît o gresie, un Sandstein, cum ar zice neamţul“.
Cum lucrurile nu se pot lămuri înaintea unei explorări ştiinţifice, nu ne rămîne decît să aşteptăm verdictul experţilor. Pînă atunci, putem doar să privim şi noi imaginile şi să facem supoziţii. Dacă e opera mamei natura, nu avem decît să ne minunăm de măreţia ei. Dacă e o construcţie umană, din ce secol să fie? Dealul e acolo de mii de ani, să fie zidul lui Valentin de vîrsta piramidelor din Valea Regilor?
Profesorul Tîrziu are o explicaţie simplă: „albia oricum e artificială, cu cascade pentru oxigenarea apei. Noi am regularizat această vale“. Dar Valentin nu e de acord. „Cu siguranţă e vorba de alt rîu. Aici e o podea groasă de jumătate de metru. Cum au turnat-o?“, se întreabă el, convins că oamenii de ştiinţă n-au niciun interes să ne spună adevărul.
„Sînt plătiţi de elitele francmasoneriei să păstreze ascunse misterele lumii“, crede brăneanul care şi-a expus teoria pe site-ul www.agarthacode.com. Aici mărturiseşte şi faptul că este ultimul rege al agathîrşilor, populaţie rezultată în urma încrucişării extratereştrilor cu indigenii din Carpaţi.
I belong to Clan MacGilligorm (later called MacGillinnion, MacGill'innein etc.), and our family traces our descent to Crotair MacGilligorm (1372-1405), the hunchback (Crotair) son of Gille-Gorm (Blue-Lad), one of the "Blue Men," who live in caves under the waters of the Minch, the channel through the "Charmed Islands" of the Hebrides.
Some say the Blue Men are fallen angels, but they are actually descendants of Glaukos Pontios (the Blue One of the Sea), a son of Pasiphaê (daughter of the Sun) and the Minôs who ruled Crete in the fourteenth century BCE. This is the story.
I. The Story of Glaukos
The story begins two generations before the Trojan War when the child Anthêdôn (Rejoicing in Flowers) was born to the Minôs (Ruler) of Crete (who had come from Skuthia, i.e. Scythia) by bull-loving Pasiphaê (All-illuminating), a daughter of the Moon and Sun (that is, Hêlios, also called Phaethôn, Illuminating).
One day the child went into a cave used to store hydromel (mead), which was the sacred drink before Dionysos gave us wine. In innocent ignorance he drowned himself in the liquor, but nobody knew what had happened to him.
Therefore the Minôs sent for the Kourêtes (Curetes), who were known as great seers (manteis), and they told him that whoever could best describe Minôs' miraculous cow would be able to restore Anthêdôn alive to him.
This cow changed colors every four hours: from the black of chaotic night, to the pure white of day, to the vital red of blood, then back to black again.
So Minôs had all the diviners in the land brought together, and the Kourêtes judged the best description to be that of a certain iatromantis (healer-seer, i.e. shaman) from Corinth called Poluidos ("Much Knowing"), the son of Koiranos, the son of Abas, the son of Melampous (Blackfoot) the Egyptian, the most famous iatromantis in Greece, who knew the language of snakes and woodworms.
Poluidos said that the cow was like the ripening mulberry (batos), which is first pure white, then vibrant red, and finally a rich dark purple (i.e. black). (These are also the colors of the alchemical Great Work.)
Therefore, Poluidos was entrusted with finding Anthêdôn, and by divination he came to a place where the Owl (Glaux) was driving away the Bees (Melissai) from a cave (for Bees reveal the presence of prophetic Goddesses). Looking inside he found the drowned boy, and brought him to Minôs.
However, the grief-stricken Minôs was not satisfied, because the Kourêtes had said that the iatromantis would restore his living son to him, so he ordered that Poluidos be shut up with the boy's body in a beehive-shaped tomb, until he brought Anthêdôn back to life.
This was beyond Poluidos' (or any mortal's) power, and so he prayed to the Gods for help. After a while, as his eyes became accustomed to the dark, he saw a snake approaching the corpse. On an impulse he killed the snake, because the idea had come into him that it would nibble the corpse. Shortly thereafter a second snake came forth and discovered the body of the first.
Then it went away and came back holding in its mouth the twig of an herb (called Dios Anthos, the Flower of Zeus) with three blue-green (glaukos) leaves. [Graves thinks it was mistletoe, the Druidic Herb of the Sun.]
The second snake laid this herb upon the first snake, which immediately came to life and left with its companion. Poluidos was astonished, but quickly took the serpent's branch and applied it to the boy while repeating a prayer three times. Like the snake, the boy immediately returned to life. (This is the very same herb that Asclepius later used to resurrect Hippolytus.)
Anthêdôn had a shiny blue-gray scar over his heart where the branch had touched him, and so he was thereafter called Glaukos (Blue-Grey) or in their language Glas (Gaelic, "Grey"). Poluidos explained to the boy that a part of his mortality had been burned away and replaced by divine substance, as shown by the scar.
In this way he was reborn as a iatromantis (healer-seer), and he was called Antitheos (Godlike). Moreover, he later discovered that from the serpent-staff he had acquired power over snakes, as have his descendants to the end of time.
Minôs gave Poluidos many gifts, but then ordered him to teach Glaukos all his arts, especially divination; because Glaukos (or Glas) was an eager student, he became known as Gathêlos Glaukos or, in their language, Gaodhal Glas, from Gaoith-Dil (Lover of Learning).
His magical craft, the Glaukou Tekhnê (Art of the Blue Man), became so famous that the ancients would say, "It doesn't take the Art of the Blue Man to do so and so" when they meant "It doesn't take a wizard to do so and so."
Eventually Minôs gave Poluidos leave to return home, but before he did so, the seer bade Glaukos to spit in his mouth. Ovid is wrong in claiming that by so doing Glaukos lost all power of divination and that in this way Poluidos reclaimed the gift he had been compelled to give.
If this were true, how could Glaukos have become the famous seer that he did, eagerly sought for his prophecies by people throughout Greece? What really happened is that Poluidos also spat into Glaukos' mouth; in this way a sacred covenant was forged between the two seers.
Thus also Glaukos was called Gnôstês (Soothsayer). (This name is also equipotent with the Antitheos Euplokamos, the Godlike One with Fair Locks)
After returning home, Poluidos fathered Eukhênôr (who accompanied his father to Troy and was killed by Paris in the war), Astuktatia and Mantô (a famous prophetess).
When Glaukos got his beard, he went to live on the shores of the Euboicum Mare (Euboean Sea) at the place in Euboia that is now called Anthêdôn in his honor. He felt a strong attraction for the sea and used to fish with both nets and rod and line.
One day he came to a rocky place, with the waves on one side and on the other a meadow of grassy herbs, never touched by sheep or goats, nor frequented by bees, nor cut by people.
He spread out his nets and lines on this grass to dry, and was counting the fish that were still on his hooks, when he observed the strangest thing: one of the fish nibbled a certain blue-green or gray grassy herb (glaukê poia) and suddenly became rejuvenated and jumped back into the water. In this way all the fish escaped back into the water. (This herb, which some call Glaukiskos, had been sown by Kronos in His Golden Age.)
Glaukos was curious about the nature of this Undying Grass (Danaia Poia), and so he picked some of it and chewed it. Immediately his heart began to pound and he felt the irresistible call of the sea. He cried, "Farewell Earth, to which I shall never return!" and jumped into the depths.
He was immediately surrounded by schools of sea-divinities, who called on the all-encircling King and Queen, Okeanos (Ocean) and Têthus, to accept him in Their domain. The Seirênes (Sirens) sang a magic purification song to him thrice three times, and told him that he had to bathe in the Hundred Streams.
When Glaukos did so, his mind became confused as in a dream and was so transformed that he could not even clearly remember his earlier life. Through his delirium he discovered that he had a thick green beard, and bluish skin, and feet like the tail of a fish. Thus he became Glaukos of the Sea (Pontios or Thalassios), a Pontomedôn (Lord of the Sea) and came to rule a kingdom under the waters near Dêlos.
To the prophetic art he had learned from Poluidos, he added the art of the wise Old Man of the Sea, Nêreus the Truthful, son of Earth and Sea (Gaia and Pontos), who was his friend, and thereafter Glaukos Gnôstês (Soothsayer) delivered oracles, coming once a year to the seamen in each port and island of Greece.
Not long after Glaukos' transformation, Skulla (Scylla), a beautiful Nêreid (daughter of Old Man Nêreus), came down to the seashore at night. There she disrobed and refreshed herself in a shallow pool. In the moonlight she saw a beautiful boy floating with his chest and arms out of the water. She pulled her long hair over her breasts and called to him, "What are you looking at?"
"The most beautiful nymph," he replied, and they bantered for a time, with ever increasing mutual attraction.
"Come closer so that I can see you," she called, but when he got close she saw that his thick hair, which covered his back, was green and that his skin was blue, for he was Glaukos. When Skulla saw that he became a fish at his groin, she shrieked, jumped from the pool and ran to the top of an overhanging cliff. Regaining her confidence, she called "What sort of monster are you?"
Godlike (Antitheos) Glaukos replied, "Fair nymph, I am not a monster, but a Sea God and more powerful than every Sea Lord (Pontomedôn) around here. But I cannot walk on land, and beg you to come back to the shore, so that we may share our love."
When Skulla saw that she had nothing to fear from Glaukos, she returned to the shore, still naked but for her long hair, and stood above him.
"Come down into the water with me," he pleaded and stroked her calves.
"You are not so powerful if you cannot come to me," she laughed, slipping from his hands and going a few feet away to recline in the pool. With signs she invited him, and Mighty (Krateros) Glaukos struggled out of the water, using his strong arms to pull himself across the sand to the pool.
He flopped up next her and reached for an embrace, but she jumped to her feet and kicked him, shouting "You are a mongrel thing, half fish and half man, and out of place in both kingdoms!" Then she grabbed her robe and ran away laughing.
Great-Hearted (Megalêtôr) Glaukos was furious, but burning with love for her, and grief at her treatment. Slowly and painfully he dragged himself back into the sea and swam quickly from Euboia to Aiaia, a mysterious island near Sicily [Monte Circei?], which is the home of many beasts, who live on hills green with herbs.
It is a paradoxical place, where the Sun rises and sets, and the hidden kingdom of Potnia Kirkê (Mistress Circe), divine sorceress and daughter of the Sun (Hêlios) and Persê, a Moon Goddess (perhaps Hekatê Herself) born of the Ocean; thus Kirkê was the sister of Pasiphaê, the mother of Glaukos.
He came up through a submarine cave that opens into her halls (megara). There he called for audience with the queen and explained that he was filled with passion for a nymph. He begged, "Theia (Aunt) Kirkê, Polupharmakos (Knowing Many Potions), master of the magic of Love, grant me this favor and sing a spell or brew a potion - for I know the magic power of herbs - but not one that will cure me! Rather, turn her heart so that she burns with as much passion as me."
The regal and powerful enchantress, Kirkê Euplokamos (Fair-haired), replied, "Ah, Godlike Glaukos, my dear young Sea Lord, it would be far better if you loved someone like me, who knows what it is to burn with passion, than that frivolous nymph."
Then with many words and actions she won his heart, so that he felt the same lust as her. In a shallow pool in her halls they tangled their limbs, hers soft and white, his glossy and blue, and spawned like fish.
Then Crafty (Doloessa) Kirkê taught him arts and incantations that would allow him to take the form of a mortal man, and accept her love in this way too. And through the night they enjoyed every pleasure afforded by their bodies and their craft.
In the morning Glaukos begged Kirkê Audêessa (Speaking Mortal Speech) for forgiveness, saying, "Gracious Goddess I have misled you. Although you have shown me every kindness and we have joined in passion, I cannot stop loving Skulla. Indeed seaweed will grow on the tops of the mountains, and trees will grow in the depths of the sea, before I will stop loving her."
(Kirkê is called Euplokamos - Fair-haired - because that name is equipotent with Audêessa Leaina - the Lioness who Speaks the Speech of Mortals - her secret nature.)Mistress Kirkê was furious and would have destroyed Glaukos, but she loved him already and knew he was a powerful Sea Lord. Therefore she turned her wrath toward Skulla, circling like a sparrow hawk and saying to herself "Very well; you want her desiring you like a bitch in heat, and so she shall."
She stormed into the dark forest and gathered secret herbs and pulverized them into a pungent powder while she sang a spell taught to her by Hekatê. When she was done, she wrapped her azure robe around her fair shoulders and went out through her court, where her familiar animals fawned about her (for she is Potnia Thêrôn - Mistress of the Beasts).
By magic arts she skimmed across the waves to Rhêgion (modern Reggio di Calabria), opposite the rocky coast of Zanklê (mod. Messina), and to that pool where Skulla was accustomed to refresh herself. She poured her potent potion into the water as she circled it, intoning over it a complex spell thrice nine times.
At her usual time Skulla came to the pool, loosened the peplos (robe) from her shoulders, and folded it on a rock. When she had waded waist deep into the pool she felt something churning in the water around her thighs; suddenly the water around her waist erupted with snarling dogs' heads.
She jumped from the pool to escape them, but discovered in her horror that they were her: her legs were covered with shaggy hair and shaped like dogs; each of her beautiful buttocks had become a yapping dog head, and her place of love had become a snarling dog. Such was the revenge of Kirkê Polupharmakos (Skilled in Many Potions).
Kirkê brought Great-Hearted Glaukos to see what she had done to Skulla, hoping that she would then have all his love, but he was horrified that she could do such a thing and fled from her into the ocean's depths.
Skulla Deinê (the Terrible) went to hide in a cave by the shore, where she would show her beautiful torso to lure sailors into her cave. When they came to lie with her, her lustful hunger was satisfied by the ravening dog-heads, for this was the only way they could be fed (although they could be placated somewhat by stroking).
She also revenged herself on Kirkê by devouring as many of Odysseus' companions as she was able. Skulla Petraia (Living on Rocks) stayed in this place for many years, until she was mercifully turned to stone.
In ten months - the period of divine gestation - Kirkê bore a daughter from the seed of Glaukos Gnôstês (Soothsayer), whom she named Sibulla (Sibyl).
When the girl was grown she traveled in many lands, and so she was called PhoitôNumphai oreskôoi dolikhomazoi) who call themselves Dianades or Ianades (i.e. the Janae, daughters of Jana), who in turn taught her many secrets, including the ways through the Underworld.
[This meeting is described somewhat differently in The Janid, the mythic history of the Janae.] Then they traveled to Lake Aornos (Lk. Avernus, near Naples), the Mouth of the Underworld, where they established a home in the Great Cave (near Baiae) and she founded the oracular shrine later moved to Kumê (Cumae); among the Cimmerians she was consulted by Aeneas and Odysseus after they left Troy.
Finally she went to the City of the Nymphs (Astu Numpheôn) on Samos, where she lived many years, prophesying from the Cave of the Nymphs there [probably the Spiliani cave]. Later prophetesses were called Sibyls (Sibullai) after her. (Wanderer).
First she went to live in Eruthrai (Erythrae), where she achieved much fame for her prophecies, for when the Achaeans were on the way to Ilion, she told them that Troy would fall and that a Poet (i.e. Homer) would tell lies about the war. Later she went with the Kimmerioi (Cimmerians) to Sardô (Sardinia), where she prophesied to those long-breasted mountain Nymphs (
Her name Phoitô reflects her parentage, for it is equipotent with Audêessa (Speaking Mortal Speech) and Kouros (Lad), that is, Kirkê and Glaukos.After leaving Kirkê, Godlike Glaukos came in human form to Iasôn (Jason) and used his arts to construct the ship Argô; he himself became an Argonaut, in fact, the ship's first steersman.
She was called Hêrophilê (Beloved of Hera) on Samos (where the Goddess is especially honored) because that name is equal to Gathêlos Aitherios (Ethereal), and she lived for a thousand years because Hêrophilê Aitheria is equipotent with Aiôn (Aeon).
She was called Dêiphobê because that name is equal to Skotia (Darkness). She was known by this name as a priestess of both Apollo and Trioditis, a name for Artemis as the Threefold Goddess of the Road. This is all I will say about this Sibulla for now.
He traveled with Iasôn and the other Argonauts in quest of the Golden Fleece of Kolkhis (Colchis), into Aia [that is, Gaia, the Earth], his family's origin, whose king, called Aiêtês, was blood-brother of Kirkê and Pasiphaê and father of Mêdeia (Medea). (He is a king of the Underworld like Aidês [Hadês].)
In the battle between Iasôn and the Turrhênoi (Etruscans), Glaukos protected himself by jumping into the sea and taking on his fish form; he was the only Argonaut to escape unscathed. Having revealed himself as a Sea Lord, he subsequently helped the Argonauts in many ways. All this took place in the generation before the Trojan War.
Although he never forgot Skulla, Great-Hearted Glaukos had many wives. For example, he loved Ariadne when she was on Dia, but she and Dionysos preferred each other, and Glaukos had to give her up.
Gathêlos also went to Egypt, where he used his craft and bravery to help the Pharaoh to defeat the Ethiopians. In gratitude the Pharaoh offered him his daughter Skotia (Darkness) as wife, and they were married.
They lived happily in Egypt until the Pharaoh [perhaps Akhenaten, 1367-1350 BCE] introduced a new religion that was hostile to the practices of Druids (Druidôn). Therefore, Mighty Gathêlos took Skotia his queen and a large number of followers to seek the land that had been prophesied for them.
(We know that Anthêdôn Gathêlos was destined for Skotia, because Gathêlos and Skotia together equal Anthêdôn.)First they went to Gotthia, where Carthage was later built. Then Gathêlos led them on to found a colony in Galicia in Spain, which is called Brigantia (near modern La Coruña) after the Goddess Brigintis (Brighid), and from there they went to Iernê (Ireland).
Here Gathêlos was crowned king and his followers took the name Skotioi (Dark Ones, Scots) after the name of their queen. Some say that the entire Gaelic clan (Clan-na-Gael) is named for Gaodhal Glas (Gathêlos Glaukos), who led them into these places.
Eventually the Skotioi came to the land of Hyperboreans, to Caledonia in the northernmost parts of Albion (England), where they settled. They founded the Kingdom of Skotia, also named for Gathêlos' queen.
II. The Blue Men of the Minch
In time, Glaukos returned to live in the sea, where he was most at home, and spawned the race of Glaukidai (Descendants of Glaukos), or Hoi Glaukoi (the Blue Men), who live in caves beneath the waves.
Although there are now Glaukidai in many parts of the world, their largest number are in Scotland, where Glaukos went after leaving the Mediterranean. The Highlanders call them the "Blue Men" (Na Fir Ghorm) because, like Glaukos, the Blue Men have glossy bluish (gorm) skin, a long gray (glas) face with curly green hair and beard.
Their eyes tend to be small, their noses flat, and mouths large. Their arms are long and their legs are like fish-tails. They are the size of a full-grown man, and very strong.
Some say that the Glaukidai are Gathêlos' descendants by Kirkê, for the plural Glaukidai is equipotent with Gathêlos and Kirkê [i.e. GLAUKIDAI is numerically equal to the sum of GAQHLOS and KIRKH], which is confirmed by the singular GlaukidêsPeople who have seen the Blue Men know that they are not the same as the Selkies (Seal-people), but they often cooperate and accompany each other. Since most of the uneducated folk don't know the origin of the Blue Men, they say that they are fallen angels that were not so guilty as to be thrown into Hell, or that they were people suffering under some punishment or spell.
(Descendant of Glaukos), which is equipotent with Aiaiê (She Who Dwells in Aiaia) and Antitheos (Godlike, an epithet of Glaukos), and also equipotent with Doloessa Leaina (The Lioness Who Speaks with Mortals), that is, Kirkê.
Most of the Blue Men live in caves under the waters of the Minch, the channel through the "Charmed Islands" (Na h-Eileinean) - Lewis and the Shiants - of the Hebrides; indeed this channel is called the Stream of the Blue Men (Sruth nam Fear Gorm).
It is also called the "Current of Destruction," because they say the Blue Men stir up the waves by their incessant swimming. Sailors often observe Blue Men floating from the waist up in the water and know that storms often follow their appearance.
The Blue Men may attack ships or sailors who have mistreated the Selkies and other Seafolk. Sometimes an attack can be averted by engaging the chieftain of the band of Blue Men in a rhyming contest; if the chieftain is sufficiently impressed by the captain's wits, he will leave the ship alone.
Although innocent sailors have little to fear, they nevertheless often sail around the Shiant Islands to avoid the Blue Men's Stream. They sing:
"Oh, weary on the Blue Men, their anger and their wiles!The Blue Men can help mortals in many ways. Therefore, during Hallowtide (the Samhain season), the people light a candle by the sea and pour a libation of new ale into the water, while they pray that the Blue Men will leave seaweed on the beach, which they use for fertilizer. After the ritual, the candle is carefully extinguished.
The whole day long, the whole night long, they're splashing round the isles;
They'll follow every fisher - ah! they'll haunt the fisher's dream -
Where billows toss, oh, who would cross the Blue Men's Stream?"
Like their Great-Hearted ancestor, the Blue Men have a lusty disposition, and often seek love from mortal women. (There are Blue Women - Na Tè Ghorm, hai Glaukai - as well, who are not so often seen, but are just as famous for their amorous inclinations.)
The dark-complexioned offspring of these unions often have webs between their fingers, which become horny crusts after the midwives cut them. By this evidence we know that there is considerable Blue Man blood flowing in Highland veins.
In fourteenth-century Kintail (Ross-shire, Scotland), Hugh Fraser, later the Laird of Lovat, had a daughter Kerling, who was very attractive, and independent in thought as well as action. She was a devotee of the Goddess Dana (Danu) of the Three Ways, which was their name for Artemis, and was well-schooled in magic.
So she disguised her love and bided her time, until she was able to leave home, at which time she boldly told this barn-man her intentions, and married him, much to the dismay of her relatives and the gentry.
Hear me, Blue Man, hear my call!When the first light of dawn turned the waters gray, she saw an attractive Blue Man emerge from the waves and swim toward her. When he reached her rock, he asked, "What is thy will with me, fair dame?" and she replied that she wanted a lover.
Seven tears I have let fall.
Salty ocean, salty tears:
Come to me, I have no fears!
Stormy ocean, stormy hearts:
We shall play our destined parts!
He was agreeable and told her that he would come at the seventh stream (spring tide), which is the time when Blue Men can take on human form and live above the waves.
He came that first time and many times thereafter, and often they were seen together after their trysts, so he became known to the townspeople, who called him Gille Gorm (Blue Lad, also Gilligorm etc.) from his complexion, which was not entirely hidden by his human form. Nevertheless, he was considered very handsome; oral tradition described Gille-Gorm:
He was the tallest of them all,Many in our Clan, from that day to this, have denied this liaison, which they consider shameful, but the truth has never been suppressed completely. Eventually Kerling had a child from Gille-Gorm, and as a result even today a few clan members have the blood of the Blue Boy in their veins. Her father Hugh, Lord Lovat, never forgave her.
The broadest in the shoulders too,
With feet as small as they could be.
(Gillegorm's ancestry is shown by his name in Greek Glaukokouros - Blue-Lad, which is equipotent with Leaina - the Lioness, that is, Kirkê - and Megalêtôr - the Great-Hearted One, that is, Glaukos.)During their years together, Gille-Gorm taught Kerling the Glaukou Tekhnê (Art of the Blue Man), which he had learned from his ancestors, and she taught him the arts she had learned as a Priestess of Dana.
Eilean Donnan Castle
Eilean Donnan Castle (on St. Donnan Island) had been built in 1266, under order of King Alexander III, by a son who had been given the Second Sight by his father, the chief on the island, for he gave his son his first drink out of a raven's skull. This castle became a key factor in the conflict between the Lord of the Isles and the Earl of Ross.
Acting under orders from Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray and Guardian of the Kingdom, Earl Hugh of Ross, captured the castle and later apprehended Coinneach (Kenneth) na Sroine, the Constable of the castle, imprisoning him at Inverness. Therefore the Allied Clans chose Gille-Gorm to be Constable of Eilean Donnan Castle and thus Over Chief of the Allies of the West.
Later, while William, Sixth Earl of Ross, was away, Gille-Gorm led his troop of "mountain men" on a diversionary invasion. First they sacked and looted the territory around Tain and Chanonry, then they proceeded southeast to the muir that lies between Kessock Ferry and Munlochy Bay.
They said they would burn Inverness to the ground unless the Provost would free Coinneach and pay a ransom. The Provost said he would consider their demands and sent barrels of whisky to Gille-Gorm's soldiers as a show of good faith.
In the meantime, Kerling's vengeful father, Hugh Fraser, who was the Crown's Lieutenant in the North, and his vassals joined the troops of Earl William of Ross, coming from Inverness, at Kessock Ferry.
In the morning they attacked at Drumderfit (Blair na Coi), where Gille-Gorm's band was camped. Under this onslaught by much superior numbers (and, some say, because of the effects of the whiskey!), Gille-Gorm's troops were forced to retreat, and many of the clan were killed.
The Earl of Ross followed with a series of vicious reprisals and so the survivors of the Battle of Drumderfit left Kintail; thus was our clan scattered from its ancient homeland, and, for generations after, the women of our clan remembered a curse:(Needless to say, the time for such animosities has long passed!)
Chief Gille-Gorm died with his men. Kerling, who was with him at the Final Battle, tried to save her husband by applying the Flower of Zeus, which she kept in an ivory chest, but before she could get it, she was captured by the Frasers.
Kerling was pregnant when she was captured, and in time gave birth to a boy. The Frasers had originally intended to kill the infant, but, because Kerling was the daughter of the Laird of Lovat, they were satisfied in the end with breaking his back so he would be deformed and therefore disallowed from becoming Chief and avenging his father.
May the Dagda rest upon thy ShouldersThen she went up to the Five Sisters (mountains in Kintail) and cut the Sacred Mothan [Flower of Zeus?], saying as she did the incantation called Am Mothan [The Mothan]:
And protect thee coming or departing;
By thy Heart be Mapon macc Matrôna;
May the Lady Brigit flow upon thee -
O may Wise Brigintis always bathe thee!
Now I pick the Sacred Mothan,She sewed the herb into Crotair's vest under his left arm, in accord with her Craft and thus protected him in his many travels.
As did Mapon macc Matrôna,
In the Holy Name of Dagda,
And of Brigit, Lugh and Danu.
Though in field of furious fighting,
Where no bounds are known to anger,
Be Thou happiness and comfort,
Mighty Mórríghan's protection!
Further, because Crotair was of the Celtic Church he took no vow of celibacy and so he fathered a son, who was called Gille Fhinnein [Servant of St. Finnan]. And so was born Clan Mac Gill'innein (the Sons of the Servant of St. Finnan).
(By naming themselves after this saint - a common practice in the 14th century - they hoped to disguise their descent from Gille-Gorm, the Blue Man; other descendants kept the name MacGilligorm.)
Chief Gille-Gorm was buried under a large stone cairn, which was visible as late as 1785 (the largest among the Cairns of Drumderfit raised to the slain).
A wooden idol of the Chief was erected near the House of Drumderfit, the estate of some of his descendants, the Lobans of Drumderfit in Easter Ross; it perished when a band of Munros and Sutherlands destroyed the estate during the Jacobite uprising of 1715. Now we say:
Bonnie Boy Blue, come blow your horn,cybershamans (karmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
The wolf's in the meadow and prowls through the corn.
But where is the Brave Boy who guards his sheep?
He's under a hillock, fast asleep.
Will you awake him? No, not I,
For if I do, the wolf will die!
This reconstruction of a Centaurian burial site was assembled by Professor William Willers of the University of Wisconsin in the mid-1980s before being moved to the University of Tennessee.
This controversial reconstruction has -as intended-- provided the catalyst for countless discussions about (for example) biological possibilities, mythological realities, cultural transmission, psycho-dynamic representations, and occasionally the possibility of an elaborate hoax.
As the embodiment of the ideal integration of physical, spiritual, and intellectual strengths, the Centaur is a prominent candidate for University mascot
© 1997, John Opsopaus
[This report was written in the fall of 1997 after a visit to sacred sites in Greece.]
As you requested, I did some checking on centaurs during my recent trip to Greece. I found out much more than I expected. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write it down, but I've had to sort through my notes and make sense out of what happened.
When I got to Athens I called a contact I had been given; he goes by the name "Skorpios" on the Internet. I walked through the busy Plaka to the corner of Hermes and Athena Streets, where we had arranged to meet.
Soon a serious-looking young man in his 20s approached, walking quickly with a lurching roll, which I attributed to leg braces. "Iyia, my friend," he said abruptly (I recognized the modern Greek form of the ancient Pythagorean greeting). "Let's go where we can talk."
He flagged one of the cabs (most of which seemed uninterested in stopping for us) and shouted and gestured at the cabby. We roared off and careened through a sea of cars, in which jubilant Athenians honked horns and waved flags, because earlier that evening (Sep. 5) they had learned that they would host the 2004 Olympics.
After paying the cabby, Skorpios led me up a rather seedy looking street (I was beginning to wonder what I had gotten into) and turned into a tiny alley filled with tables. This was the restaurant. Only the kitchen was indoors; everyone ate in the alley. We squeezed between the celebrating Athenians and wedged ourselves around a tiny table.
The waiter came and after a few animated words with Skorpios, threw the blank order pad on the table in front of him. That was fine with Skorpios; he filled in his favorite dishes and handed it back to the waiter next time he passed. I don't know what he ordered, which is probably just as well. I was enjoying some spicy sausages, when he pointed at them and said, "bulls' balls."
Our conversation was somewhat chaotic, following Skorpios' serpentine stream of consciousness. Here are some snippets:
"These beastly legs are my karma. I did some very bad things in my last life. You know I found an altar to Pan in the woods on Mt. Lykaion; I made a blood sacrifice and met him there. Now I know my task for this life."
"We Greeks have forgotten the ancient ways! All this," sweeping his arm to indicate Athens, "is just a way of getting tourist money." He was getting vehement. "We shit on the altars! I'm telling you we do!" He was almost in tears.
"But one of my Cabirian Brothers is very high up in the church; they don't even know he's one of us. We invoked Eris and now they are in chaos, fighting each other for money. They make their own reality."
"You are 4=7, right?" he asked with no explanation. I wasn't sure what I should say, so I shrugged and he seemed to accept that for an answer. I quickly turned the conversation to centaurs. Soon Skorpios was off and running.
"Cheiron learned his arts from Apollo and Artemis, the secrets of the sun and moon, you see? You know there are two centaurs in the sky; he put Sagittarius there to show the way to the golden fleece.
"Cheiron was so wise because he combined the best of man and beast. This is higher than the alchemical union of male and female, because it unites animal vitality with human wisdom and compassion: a human head and heart united with a stallion's libido!
This union will come in the new aeon, a revolution in heaven as well as earth. That's why Uncle Al" (he means Aleister Crowley) "called it 'lust'. He knew these things; too bad he was so fucked up! Remember this about Cheiron: to grasp him you must embrace his body as well as his mind!
"This is also why Cheiron is the vehicle for Faust to meet Manto, his Soror Mystica; Cheiron is always moving, circulating, but Manto is motionless; they unite the opposites, you see?
"Manto was the Thessalian Sibyl, the psychopompos who initiated Faust into the mysteries of Persephone in the underworld, so he could complete the mystical union with Helene. She leads him to the world axis where sun and moon stand still. Goethe wanted to tell what he knew about the mysteries, but he could not, so he wrote about them under a veil.
So he tells us about Homunculus, a fiery spirit looking for a body. He follows that nymph, Galatea, on the shell of Aphrodite, and they submerge in the salt sea. It's the alchemical union of fire and water by Eros, right? All life comes from the sea! Goethe was a good alchemist! Let him be your guide!"
I showed Skorpios a photo of the centaur skeleton and told him what we know and suspect. He became very excited and said, "You must go to the centaur's cave. Not the big one at the foot of Pelion; that is garbage. And not to Cheiron's cave between Pelion's peaks. Go to the cave near Anilio on the east face.
It's not so high as Cheiron's cave; you will have to climb down to it. The bastards keep it locked now. You will have to get the key from the museum in Anakasia. You must find the kleidouchos, the key holder, of the cave. Don't mention my name or you will never get it. Here, Skorpios will help you find the centaur." He began writing directions on a napkin.
By the time he was done, it was well after midnight so we paid our bill and squeezed back out through the alley. Skorpios snared a cab to get me home (he lives near the restaurant).
I thanked Skorpios for his help and he replied, "Good luck in Volos. You know, that is the place where wild Eris came to the wedding of Thetis of the silver feet." Then he shouted, "Hail Eris!" which made me shudder. As I climbed into the taxi he wagged his finger at me: "Never forget to invite Eris!"
I think she was not far away, since I had another hair-raising cab ride through downtown Athens, this time with a cabby who swerved to try to hit every dog that ventured near the street!
Although my visit with Skorpios had left my head spinning, the next day I rented a little Fiat and drove up the coastal highway to Volos. As soon as I was settled in my room I called the Theophilos Museum in Anakasia and tried to make them understand that I wanted to get the key for the Anilio cave.
After being passed from one non-English speaker to another, a woman named Alexandra came on the phone and she understood what I was asking,
"You will have to make application to visit the cave," she explained. "How long will that take?" I asked.
"One week, maybe two."
"That's no good," I said, "I must leave for Mykonos the day after tomorrow."
"It is impossible then; I'm sorry."
"But I have come all the way from Tennessee to see this cave," I pleaded. "Have you heard about the centaur skeleton at the University of Tennessee?"
There was a moment of silence, and she said, "Be at the museum by 2 o'clock," and hung up. It was already 1:30, so I jumped in the Fiat and screamed up the road that winds northeast from Volos to Anakasia.
When I got to the museum I had to run the gauntlet of guards and others who couldn't understand me. I didn't have much luck explaining what I wanted, so I kept asking for Alexandra. Eventually they took me back to her office and I said that I was the one who had called.
I handed her my business card (hoping she wouldn't notice that it had nothing to do with archaeology), and she led me to the director's office. He glanced at my card and handed it back to her while they spoke in Greek. It didn't look promising.
He turned to me. "Why do you want to go in this cave? There is nothing for the public."
"Because it's said to be a centaur cave and I have a special interest in centaurs. You know, there is a centaur skeleton at the University of Tennessee," I said.
"Yes, I know of that hoax!" he laughed.
"Yes," I laughed along with him, "it's a rather silly joke, but I still would like to visit the cave." Impulsively I added, "A*** said I should see it."
He stopped laughing and stared at me for a moment; then he wrote two phone numbers on a slip of paper while he spoke to Alexandra. She moved to lead me out, but I asked, "What about the application?"
"No application is necessary," he said without looking up from his papers.
It turned out that the first number was for a certain Dr. Mavrogenous, who would show me the cave, and the second was for her friend, where she was often to be found after 4 PM. There was no answer at the first number, and the man who answered at the second knew no English and couldn't comprehend my attempts at Greek.
But I said "Mavrogenous" often enough that he got the idea and put Mavrogenous on. Fortunately she spoke some English, and I said the director had told me that she could take me to the cave; I judge she had already heard this from the director himself, because she said, "Be at the Antiquities Office at 10 tomorrow morning."
When I arrived at the office the next day I found it deserted but for a young woman, in khaki shorts and shirt, wandering among the ruins and spraying something - an herbicide? protection for the stones? - from a spray bottle. She looked up at me and said, "Five minutes!" so I sat down while she finished her rounds.
When she was done she disappeared into the office and returned with a flashlight; she waved me toward her car. She offered her hand and said, "I am Manto Mavrogenous." She must have seen my startled expression, because she explained, "Yes, I was named for the Greek patriot; she was a pirate, you know." I haven't a clue who she was talking about! But I noticed that her left boot had a brass frame over it, some sort of brace I suppose.
As we drove away she asked, "Do you have a light?" and I admitted I didn't, so she stopped in front of small store and said, "Go get a light and batteries." Thus equipped we roared up the narrow, winding road that ascends Pelion's western face.
I thanked Manto for being my guide and told about my difficulties finding the key holder of the cave. "You grasp beyond your reach; that is good," she commented enigmatically. When I pulled out the photo of the centaur skeleton and showed it to her, she went pale and said, "I have heard of this thing."
Soon we left the olive groves and fruit orchards behind, as Mediterranean plants yielded to mountain varieties, and we entered forests of pine, cypress, and plane, interrupted by magnificent views of Volos Bay.
Eventually we cleared Hania Pass and began careening down the wildly twisting road that descends Pelion's steep eastern face. Now extraordinary views of the Aegean Sea alternated with dense forests of beech and chestnut.
We came to the hamlet with the forbidding name Anilio (Sunless), which is perched on the side of a crevasse of breathtaking depth, and Manto turned onto a narrow road - hardly more than a bridle path - that wound down the face of the mountain into an impenetrable forest.
She parked at an unmarked place and we climbed out. She remotely armed her car alarm, which seemed anachronistic and redundant in this wilderness.
We picked our way down the steep, rocky slope, Manto going ahead and showing me step by step where to place my feet. Soon we were deep in the dense woods: mostly beech and chestnut, but also plane, oak and cypress. We frequently encountered rippling brooklets and splashing waterfalls.
The forest's damp, cool, quiet twilight made it seem an alien environment far from the clear, bright Mediterranean sky. Manto stopped from time to time, looking ahead, as though gathering her strength, or perhaps praying.
We seemed utterly alone on earth, yet Manto stopped by a low, flat stone, pulled a small package from her backpack, unwrapped a piece of baklava and placed it on the stone. Although I watched without comment, she explained, "I always bring a gift for Pamphile, the old woman in these woods."
Manto swept her arm around. "This is the Forest of the Pheres. That is the old Thessalian name for centaurs. It is said they lived here before they were driven off to Mt. Pindos."
It was high noon and getting warm when we came to a spring running from a crack in the rocks. Manto washed her face and arms in it and suggested I do the same. In fact, as I recall now, she was quite insistent about it. However, I needed little encouragement and the water was exceptionally revitalizing.
Just beyond the spring we came to a small clearing, bathed in sunlight, in which an ancient fig tree grew from a cleft in the rocks. "This is it," she announced, "the Cave of the Pheres."
I looked into the pit between the rocks. Behind the gnarled trunk of the fig was the mouth of the cave, which was closed by a rusty iron gate. I watched from above as Manto climbed into the pit and pulled the key from her pocket. It was much larger than I expected - about 6" long - and looked very old. Before she put it in the lock she did an odd thing; she stamped her brass boot three times!
Manto seemed to be struggling with the key and after a few minutes climbed out and handed it to me. "Please, you must unlock the gate; it must be your dynamis" (strength?). That was OK with me, so I took the key and saw immediately how unusual it was. It had two obliquely intersecting rings for its wards. She watched me inspect it and asked, "Do you know the Timaeus?" I said, "Not well," and she smiled but said no more.
I climbed into the pit, fit the key into the lock, and turned it quite easily, although it made a scraping sound. I was surprised Manto had experienced so much trouble, but perhaps she got it in crooked.
I pushed the gate open and looked up to her for guidance, but she said, "Go ahead; take the key with you." I took it from the gate and stepped into the twilight of the cave mouth. A moment later Manto joined me.
Just inside was a large stone carved with a Gorgon, presumably for protection. Manto surreptitiously slipped something under its edge. An offering? On the floor I noticed many roots and sprigs of herbs, some quite fresh, apparently put through the gate as offerings.
With Manto leading the way, we made our way past the Gorgon into the depths. Although our flashlights were on, the dark was oppressive, and I could not help thinking that I was descending into the maw of Orcus.
The floor was littered with pot shards and figurines, and even I could tell that they dated to every period from the neolithic, through the Mycenaean, up to the Hellenistic and Roman. In an open area there were modern (but not recent) excavations in the floor, and I wondered if this was the place where the skeleton was found. The size seemed about right.
Then Manto retreated to a dark corner, leaving me to explore on my own. Further back in the cave, as I turned the flashlight toward the right-hand wall, I saw painted images of centaurs that reminded me of the cave paintings in Les Trois Freres.
When I turned my flashlight to the left, my hair stood on end as the light revealed a large double stalactite reaching to the floor. It made such a perfect, life-sized image of a centaur that one might believe that here Cheiron had met the Gorgon Medusa. It even had a crystalline phallus. The stalagmites around the centaur's feet were smooth from the touch of the hands of a thousand generations.
In front of the image a circular hole was broken through the 3 cm. thick crystalline floor; it exposed a deep well filled to the brim with water of perfect transparency. I could not look in it for long, because its great depth made me dizzy. Bestial faces seemed to glare from the depths!
I was a bit disoriented when Manto came, and led me down into a deeper part of the cavern. "This place is for the Three: Persephone, Demeter, and Hecate," she whispered. There was a sudden blaze of light in our flashlight beams: a shining tripod, made of gold I suppose.
In its basin was a fat candle, which Manto lit, and soon strange fragrances filled the air. I remember her saying, "Look through the smoke," which swirled into almost recognizable shapes. I thought I heard her say, "Take the key. Strike the tripod of fire." I remember hearing it ring with a strange tone, but that is all.
I must have been overcome by the fumes in the closeness of the cave, as my recollections are very confused. I remember waking up and finding a cloth over my head. I think I tried to pull it off, but someone stopped m, and I thought I heard Manto say something about a veil protecting me from the Gorgon.
The first clear thing I remember is lying on the cave floor with Manto watching over me. She helped me to my feet and we made our way back to the mouth of the cave, me in the lead. As I came to the gate she said something in Greek, which sounded like, Teliosate tin ierin teleturyian; apodoste ton sto ieron fos - "Complete the highest ritual; restore him to the sacred light."
I stepped out into the sun, and it was so bright it blinded me. When my eyes had adjusted to the glare, I thought to look back for Manto, but a strange reluctance stopped me from doing so. Soon she was at my side. I looked up out of the pit toward the towering summit of Pelion, which was crowned with snowy cumulus clouds.
As I watched, they seemed to take the form of a resplendent queen in her throne. Beside me Manto said, in a hush, "Ixion will be with white-armed Hera tonight."
There is not much more to tell. On the way back I was too confused and overwhelmed to try to talk, and Manto seemed occupied with her own thoughts anyway. The next day I drove back to Athens and caught the 4:50 PM Olympic flight to Mykonos.
I hope this rambling account is of some help. Let me know if you have any further questions about what I learned in Greece.
cybershamans (karmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Exercise for Unity (c) 1995, Apollonius Sophistes
Empedocles was a Greek shaman (iatromantis) of the fifth century BCE and one of the founders of Greek philosophy (he discovered the four elements). Empedocles explained that there are two great living forces in the universe, which he called Love (Philotês) and Strife (Neikos) and assigned to Aphrodite and Ares.
According to Hesiod, the Goddess Love and the God Strife, offspring of Night (Nux), were ancient dieties, predating the Olympians. The original golden age was the Reign of Aphrodite, when all things were united and Love permeated the length and breadth of the well-rounded cosmic sphere.
But Strife, as the River Styx surrounding the Sphere, broke its Unity, and cleaved the One into Many. It divided the four elements, which ever since combine and separate under the opposing actions of Love and Strife to produce the changing world with its manifold objects and qualities.
As Heraclitus said, "Through Strife all things come into being." Into the world with Strife came dualism and the tools of discrimination (for good or ill): oaths (sworn on the Styx), bargains, justice, weights and measures, science.
Empedocles said that Strife also divided the one immortal soul of Love into many individual souls, each comprising both Love and Strife in some proportion; these immortal souls are reborn time and again into mortal bodies, which are animated by mortal souls compounded from the four elements.
In this day now we have come from the apex of the Reign of Aphrodite to the nadir of the Reign of Ares. We have come from the solidarity of the tribe to the strife of group against group and individual against individual.
To return to the Reign of Aphrodite we must invite Philotes into our lives, for Aphrodite does not demand that we be passionate, sexual lovers of everyone else; it is sufficient that we be united by Philotes, whose name means Affection and Friendship as well as Love.
She comes when Strife is banished, and whenever we dissolve the divisions between us, we take a step back to the "well- rounded sphere permeated by Philotes," which was the cosmos of the golden age. This is based on Empedocles' Hymn to Her:
Philotes, Thou whose arms surround the world,The following "Exercise toward Unity" is one step in this direction.
embracing all together, joined as one,
we contemplate Thee, who cannot be seen,
and feel Thee dwelling in our mortal limbs.
We call Thee Friend, for Harmony's Thy gift,
and Joy Thou'rt named, and Aphrodite too.
When people gather, You arrive unseen;
in lofty clouds You circle like a dove,
and draw us close in bonds of common Love.
Hail, fair Goddess! Khaire!
This exercise aims to dissolve interpersonal boundaries by encouraging openness, trust, compassion, kindness, connection, respect, affection and love. These attitudes are encouraged if the participants wear little or no clothing, but that's not necessary.
After creating sacred space, banishing Strife and invoking Love, participants are paired up randomly, and a simple counting device ensures that eventually each participant is paired with each other participant.
(Since sexual intimacy is not a specific goal, but dissolving inhibitions is, no distinction is made between different- sex and same-sex pairings.) Each pair works through three activities, Admiration, Praise and Touch, which may overlap or blend into each other.
Central to all three is experiencing the embodied divinity in the other -- "Thou art God. Thou art Goddess." The work of each pair begins with the partners saluting each other.
(1) In Admiration, each partner admires the other as embodied divinity and each accepts the admiration of the other as that befitting a divinity. Every characteristic of the other is seen as a manifestation of this divinity, and therefore worthy of praise.
This is a kind of meditation, in which the goal is for your awareness to zoom in and focus on the partner in the here-and-now; your partner should fill your consciousness, so that it begins to merge with the divine other. Allow your heart open to your partner and feel the boundaries begin to dissolve.
(2) In Praise each partner compliments the other, and the hearer strives to accept the praise as the adoration that a devotee owes a divinity. This is not a time for lies, but for honest admiration of the other, for whatever their appearance may be, they are embodied divinity and therefore praise-worthy; giver and receiver should each accept it in this way.
(3) In Touch each partner treats the other as a divinity to whom they owe the pleasure of touch, and by whom they expect to be blessed by touch. They may touch each other in whatever ways are acceptable to them both; caressing, hugging, kissing and licking are typical.
The three activities together allow the partners to relate through all five senses. (The activities correspond loosely to the second and third sacraments of the Liturgia Philotetos; the first sacrament is also included if each participant engages in self-admiration, (silent) self-praise and self-touch - essentially honoring their own divinity.)
At the end of a pair's time together, they salute each other with some words such as "Thou are God/dess." After all pairs have connected, the Goddess is thanked and the circle is opened.cybershamans (karmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
O ţară de mărimea unui oraş se află ascunsă între graniţele a doi giganţi europeni, fiecare având o cultură şi o economie puternică, capabile să „înghită” şi aşezări mai mari. Cu toate acestea, Andorra a reuşit să se diferenţieze şi să se menţină pe poziţii, adaptând, împrumutând şi inovând de-a lungul timpului. Cu o populaţie de doar 83.000 de locuitori, Andorra primeşte între graniţele sale anual aproximativ 9 milioane de turişti. Atraşi de relieful muntos, de pârtiile de schi întreţinute sau de preţurile mici pe care le practică, vizitatorii sunt surprinşi de obicei de a„încăpătânarea” cu care care micuţa ţară se menţine la suprafaţă.
Principatul Andorrei este un ţinut muntos, aflat între Franţa şi Spania, ale cărui înălţimi înverzite sunt crestate de văi adânci, nelăsând prea multe şanse de dezvoltare, agriculturii. Acest fapt nu i-a speriat prea mult pe locuitori, care îşi importă majoritatea alimentelor, însă care şi-au dezvoltat alte activităţi compensatorii, de natură să crească atât nivelul PIB-ului, cât şi nivelul de trai al rezidenţilor: cultura tutunului, creşterea oilor sau turismul au fost deja împământenite că tradiţii în aceste locuri. În prezent, principală ramură economică este turismul, deoarece relieful şi clima blândă nu lasă loc sau timp de extra-sezon. De altfel, ritmul mai puţin alert al vieţii, i-a propulsat pe locuitorii Andorrei în fruntea Europei în ceea ce priveşte speranţa de viaţă, cu o medie de 83 de ani.
Primele referinţe despre Andorra apar în scrierile istoricului grec Polybius, între 200 şi 118 i.e.n., care povesteşte despre ciocnirea forţelor militare ale Andorrei cu cele ale Cartaginei, în momentul în care Hanibal încerca să treacă cu trupele sale Pirineii pentru a ajunge la Roma. Andorra, aşa cum este ea reprezentată de istorie, era un microstat rural, a cărui populaţie varia între 4.000 şi 6.000 de locuitori.
Una dintre figurile istorice marcante, care a jucat un rol crucial în istoria andorana este Carol cel Mare, cel care a oferit localnicilor o cartă care le garanta recunoaşterea autonomiei, ca răsplată pentru faptele lor de vitejie împotriva arabilor, a căror putere creştea în Europa. Ţara a căzut pentru multă vreme în uitare, nereuşind să iasă din umbra celor două puteri care o înconjurau. Abia în a două jumătate a secolului XX, pe măsură ce fosta societate rurală a devenit un mare centru comercial, numărul populaţiei locale a fost depăşit cu mult de cel al emigranţilor sau turiştilor, dezvoltându-se într-o societate multiculturală.
Andorra vine în întâmpinarea turiştilor pasionaţi de sporturile de iarnă cu o ofertă generoasă de pârtii, potrivite atât începătorilor, cât şi celor care stăpânesc mai bine arta schiurilor. În perioada iernii sezonul turistic este în plină desfăşurare, prin urmare pârtiile vor fi mai aglomerate, iar camerele de hotel mai scumpe.
Zăpada începe să cadă la jumătatea lunii decembrie şi durează până în aprilie, deşi folosirea înlocuitorului artificial prelungeşte sezonul de schi până spre sfârşitul primăverii. Temperaturile din timpul iernii nu scad foarte mult, variind între - 1 grad şi 6 grade Celsius. Este posibil să schiaţi şi să vă bronzaţi pe partie în acelaşi timp, deoarece apariţiile soarelui nu sunt zgârcite în timpul iernii.
În perioada verii temperaturile sunt blânde, iar traseele montane sunt deschise pasionaţilor de excursii. Tot acum, pe lângă vizitarea lăcaşelor de cult, în majoritate de secol XII, va veţi putea bucura şi de festivalurile locale de muzică şi dans, care au loc din iulie până în septembrie. Ofertele hotelurilor în perioadele însorite, când pârtiile de schi nu mai sunt practicabile sunt mult mai avantajoase pentru bugetul turistului, decât cele din timpul iernii, când oferta se adaptează la cerere.
Ceea ce face ca Andorra să fie o ţară deosebită, poate suna pentru majoritatea dintre noi ca fiind o ciudăţenie. Singurul mod în care puteţi ajunge în orice orăşel al ţării se poate face doar cu maşina sau cu autobuzul. Aici nu există cale ferată, deşi guvernul are un plan viitor de a construi un sistem de transport public, care se va numi "Metro Aeri", un sistem de transport la înălţime ce ar traversa râul din oraş. Până atunci, aveţi la dispoziţie 269 de kilometri de drum naţional, dintre care numai 71 sunt nepavaţi.
În Andorra nu veţi putea găsi porturi sau aeroporturi, de aceea dacă plănuiaţi o călătorie cu avionul va trebui să vă orientaţi către Spania sau Franţa, iar de acolo să închiriaţi o maşină sau să folosiţi mijloacele de transport în comun, o reţea destul de bine pusă la punct care leagă Andorra de Spania sau Franţa. Cel mai apropiat aeroport din Spania este Barcelona, iar dacă preferaţi Franţa, ar trebui să vă îndreptaţi atenţia către aeroportul Toulouse-Blagnac. De aici, microbuzele către Andorra sunt zilnice sau puteţi opta pentru un taxi, deoarece din ambele direcţii veţi ajunge la destinaţie în aproximativ 3 ore.
Dacă aveţi mai mult timp la dispoziţie şi vreţi să mai admiraţi peisajele montane, puteţi lua trenul din Barcelona până la La Tour de Carol, aflat la graniţa franco-spaniolă. De acolo există autobuze care vă vor purta către Andorra.
Mai multe informaţii referitoare la transportul în Andorra găsiţi aici.
O pensiune care să includă cazare, câteva mese la restaurant şi excursii la schi vă vor scoate din buzunar între 50 şi 75 de euro pe zi. Dacă vă doriţi un sejur mai luxos, sunt puţine variante, prin urmare, dacă nu va veţi lăsa sedus de oferta duty-shop-urilor nu ar trebui să cheltuiţi mai mult de 150 euro pe zi.
Deşi ţara a adoptat moneda vecinelor ei, este posibil să mai găsiţi preţuri exprimate în pesetas, dar ca să nu fiţi puşi în dificultate, rata de schimb valutar este exprimată lângă preţ. Servicile sunt de obicei incluse în notele de plată, cu toate acestea portarii şi chelnerii îşi aşteaptă bacşişul de 10%.
Ţara nu este membră a Uniunii Europene, prin urmare magazinele duty-free nu au fost desfiinţate. În privinţa hainelor, preţurile nu sunt cu mult mai scăzute decât cele din alte ţări europene, însă regimul de taxe scăzute pe care îl practică Andorra a contribuit la faima preţurilor scăzute din duty-free-uri, în mod special în cea ce priveşte bunurile electronice, parfumuri, ţigări şi alcool. Chiar dacă o călătorie făcută special în acest scop nu se justifică, puteţi găsi aici preţuri cu până la 30% mai ieftine decât în Spania sau Franţa.
Cea mai bună alegere este să vă cazaţi în capitală, Andorra la Vella (Andorra cea bătrână), de unde va veţi putea deplasa cu uşurinţă în orice colţ al ţării, şi asta într-un timp foarte scurt. În mod normal, un sejur de câteva zile va fi suficient pentru vizitarea întregii ţări, asta dacă nu veţi fi prea ocupaţi cu schiatul, principala atracţie în perioada iernii. În apropierea satului La Massna se află două pârtii importante de schi, Arinsal şi Pal, amândouă fiind potrivite atât începătorilor, cât şi celor aflaţi la un nivel intermediar.
Nici lăcaşurile de cult nu ar trebui ocolite. Atât arhitectura exterioară, cât şi cea interioară reprezintă motive suficient de puternice să vă familiarizaţi cu specificul ţării.
Biserica din Sant Esteve este principalul lăcaş de cult al micuţei capitale, care datează din secolul XII şi se remarcă prin stucaturile din lemn şi frescele interioare. Lucrări de reabilitare şi mărire au fost efectuate în anul 1969.
În centrul capitalei se află Casa de la Vall, o clădire din piatră construită în jurul anului 1580, care a aparţinut iniţial unei familii nobile. În prezent, aici se află sediul guvernului, Tribunalul şi Consiliul general. Intrarea în Casa de la Vall este decorată cu armele principalităţii din 1761 şi cu însemnele episcopului de Urgell. Picturile pereţilor din prima sală de la etajul întâi datează din secolul XVI, în vreme ce Camera Consiliului conţine documente importante, unele dintre ele datând încă din timpul lui Carol cel Mare. Bucătăria casei s-a păstrat cu o mare parte din ustensilele folsite în secolul XVI, astfel încât o vizită în această cameră, de obicei ocolită, este echivalentul unei întoarceri în timp.
Dacă sunteţi în drum către Spania vă sfătuim să nu rataţi micuţa localitate Santa Coloma, unde veţi putea vizită biserica Santa Coloma, construită în stil romanesc, care adăposteşte o statuie din secolul XII a Fecioarei din Coloma, îndelung venerată atât de localnici, cât şi de pelerinii catolici. Puţin mai sus de sat se află un castel construit în secolul XII de către Roger Bernat, conte de Foix. Drumul continuă peste un pod medieval, Pont de la Margineda, către Sant Julia de Loria, aflată la 939 metri altitudine, de unde puteţi urca până la biserica Sant Cerni de Nagol, decorată cu fresce în stil romanesc. Clopotniţa bisericii Sant Julia de Loria este construită în stil romanesc, adăpostind şi un crucifix din secolul XVII.
Un pic mai la nord de localitatea Canillo, se ridica cel mai înalt turn de biserică din Andorra. Capela Sant Joan de Caselles, una dintre cele mai frumoase capele din zonă, este datată undeva între secolul XI şi XII. Arhitectura interioară este foarte bine punctată, frescele şi picturile păstrând încă un aer medieval.
- Permanenta oscilaţie a influenţei franco-spaniole se reflectă şi astăzi în mai toate domeniile, începând de la cultură, economie, până la politică. Conducerea Andorrei este împărţită de secole între preşedintele Franţei, în prezent, Nicholas Sarkozy şi episcopul de Urgell, (oraş al Spaniei), Joan Enric Vives i Sicília. Deoarece nici unul dintre ei nu locuieşte în Andorra, iar funcţia lor este una mai degrabă simbolică, cel care deţine puterea executivă este şeful guvernului actual, Antoni Martí.
- Drapelul Andorrei este asemănător întru-câtva cu cel al României, cu diferenţa că ordinea culorilor este inversată, fiind albastru, galben, roşu, iar în mijloc se află stema ţării andorane.
- Andoranii sunt minoritari în propria lor ţară, deoarece numai un procent de 36% din populaţie este de origine andorana, diferenţa fiind ocupată de spanioli, portughezi şi francezi. Limba oficială a statului este catalană, limbă vorbită şi în Spania, în zona Barcelonei şi a Valenciei, însă majoritatea localnicilor vorbesc şi franceză sau spaniolă.
- Sistemul de învăţământ din Andorra se conformează şi se adaptează suprafeţei mici ale statului şi faptului că este o cultură minoritară. Ceea ce este interesant este faptul că şcolile cu predare în catalană sunt susţinute de guvern, în vreme ce cele în franceză sau spaniolă se susţin singure. Cu toate acestea 35% dintre copiii andorani urmează cursurile în limba franceză, 35% în spaniolă şi abia 29% în catalană.
- După încheierea liceului, cei care vor să urmeze cursuri universitare, trebuie să se orienteze către Spania sau Franţa, deoarece din cauza numărului mic de studenţi ai Universităţii din Andorra, aceasta nu poate dezvolta o programă proprie, fiind mai degrabă un sediu pentru studii la distanţă legat de universităţi din Franţa şi Spania.
- Uitarea în care căzuse Andorra a căpătat proporţii aproape comice, în momentul în care din cauza unei erori de natură birocratică nu a fost menţionată în Tratatul de la Versailles, prin urmare, din punct de vedere oficial, Andorra se mai afla încă în război cu Germania în anul 1957, când eroarea a fost corectată.