Glossary and Other Interesting Things
or Random Thoughts by David
V - Z
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This is an amazingly beautiful sculpture of a heavy set woman and is thought to represent a fertility goddess. This small clay sculpture was found in Willendorf Austria. It is approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years old.
The stories that she could tell...See her picture here. She also speaks to the spiritual power of art. Some artistic genius of a paleolithic culture, in his or her off hours between surviving, and surviving, managed to create this sculpture. Clearly it had powerful and important significance. Still does, in my opinion.
Being in the physical form for some reason makes it very challenging to open and access fully the realms of Spirit. With the exception of dreaming and spontaneous spiritual awakenings, most people live their lives deeply believing the Maya, the dream of their life, the "Matrix" experience of the world. (As in the movie "The Matrix" -- definitely worth seeing for its mind bending look at the nature of reality. Philip K. Dick, a science fiction writer, is another excellent entry into exploring what is real and what is illusion.)
And why not. It is very convincing. It is often joyous, interesting and fun. It is also there every single day. Even when it is very challenging and painful, it is still there.
Yet, there are moments when some sensitive people seem to "know" when the veil parts and they have indescribable glimpses into something completely different. A view into reality completely unlike the world that we are raised to believe is the one and true reality.
As a result various mystical systems have developed methods to break through the barrier, the veil. Because those who have been there know that it is a place unlike anywhere else. It is an experience unlike any other in its beauty, joy, ecstasy, learning, freedom and reality. It is a realm more real that real.
I have touched on this place in my journey work, in some dreams, in some lucid dreams, in some drug experiences and in some moments of walking on a beach. I want to develop consistent transportation to take me there and bring me back. Why come back? Because I was born into this world for some reason and I want to discover it all. If I get an opportunity to share my piece of the path with other people so that they find their own way there, then my life is that much richer.
Vision quests are a method, most often associated with Native American mystical paths, for powerfully connecting the seeker with Spirit. It is a path that involves extremes of focus and discipline, usually fasting and praying alone in nature, exposed to the elements. It is a powerful way to come to understand your true path living your true life. You are truly seeking a Vision -- deep insight into that real real place that is not this physical world. This is a method best done under the guidance of an elder.
I would love to own this manuscript. It was for sale several years ago for some amazing price. I would love to own a portfolio copy of this manuscript. It is a hand written document filled with weird drawings of plants and people and rituals. It may be something that Roger Bacon wrote in the 1200's or it may be from someone else and some other time. (Assuming it is still a live site, here is an excellent website for more details and pictures (!) -- Voynich manuscript)
In any event it is written in a language or a code that no one has yet deciphered. Even the folks who broke the Japanese military codes in W.W.II could not crack it. It has been analyzed for content patterns -- that is, it really is a language with content and not just random symbols.
Several books have been written claiming to have broken the code but to date none of them have withstood rigorous testing.
My interest in the Voynich Manuscript comes from a weird synchronicity I had around it. I had the idea of using shamanic journey work to decipher undeciphered languages such as the Indus Script, or Rongo rongo. In the course of researching what languages are still undeciphered, I learned of the Voynich Manuscript. I obtained articles and other information on it.
During this same period I was drawn to start reading a fiction book, The Philosopher's Stone, by Colin Wilson. I have had this book for years, had even tried to read it a couple of times. However, suddenly I was really compelled to be reading it. I was a little surprised by my compulsion, but hey, maybe I was just really in the mood for some recreational reading.
The Philosopher's Stone is a sci-fi book about magicians and scientists who discover that there is an ancient alien race who eons ago had come to earth, genetically manipulated apes to create human slaves, had a war and for millions of years has been asleep recovering from their wounds. In the mean time humanity was left on its own to grow and evolve. Well, the aliens are getting close to recovering and awakening and so the race is on to evolve humanity to the place where they can hold their own against the aliens. It is a fun read because Colin set out to "out-Lovecraft H.P. Lovecraft". H.P. Lovecraft was a sci-fi/horror writer who wrote of similar subjects. One of his trademarks is that he would fill his books with verifiable facts and use them to support his fiction. This gives the reader the mental tweak of "could this all be real??" Colin Wilson's book is filled with facts skillfully woven in with his fictions.
One of the keys to the mystery / puzzle that the characters are pursuing is the Necronomicon -- a supposedly real occult book of spells from the middle ages for summoning the darkest of dark demons. There are those who say that the Necronomicon is a real book that some major conspiracy is keeping under wraps. Others maintain that it is one of H.P. Lovecraft's fictions.
Now remember, as I am reading this book I am also looking into undeciphered languages shamanically as well as learning all I can about the Voynich manuscript.
So, late one evening I am reading The Philosopher's Stone and I come across this passage:
"I spoke to the librarian, who was an admirer of Lovecraft, and had taken some trouble to look up every possible source for the Necronomicon. I didn't like to mention Evangelista's Oldest History in case he thought me a total crank. We talked for twenty minutes, and covered every possibility. " Then he said:
'There's also, of course, the Voynich manuscript, although we know very little about it, of course..."
'Don't you know about it? It's been arousing some interest recently. Professor Lang became very interested, but of course, he disappeared...'" ( !!! )
(From The Philosopher's Stone by Colin Wilson (c) 1969 Wingbow Press, page 220)
I was certain that I heard the Twilight Zone music in the background as all the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up (especially given that my name is associated with another mysterious disappearance, The Mystery of David Lang). Being in the biz of reading signs and symbols I have continued my researches into the Voynich manuscript, have pulled back a bit on the shamanic exploration of undeciphered languages and approach these things with a little more caution.
Some of my ancestors are from Wales. Maybe this explains why I have such an intense response to all things Celtic. I think Mayan art is beautiful, I like Egyptian imagery, but show me Celtic art and my entire being electrifies. It has been that way since my teens. There is definitely a genetic resonance. I must have spent several lifetimes as a Celt.
Those countries, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, are just loaded with sacred sites and magical stories, events, and experiences. Are the veils between the physical and Spirit thinner in that part of the world? Or is it cultural bias. Or maybe it is just that I can relate to the forms more easily than I can to Native American or Egyptian forms -- a kind of cultural resonance.
Wales, by the way is that land mass South of Scotland and West of England.
Different traditions treat the directions in different ways assigning colors, seasons, power animals, clan animals, etc. and using different rituals to honor and call the directions to create sacred space.
For me the West is connected to Autumn, sunset, late middle age, harvest, a gathering in in preparation for Winter. The real meaning for any ritual work is the intention from the heart that is behind the form.
My Staff is made, I was told, from Wild Cherry. Celtic tree lore does not include Wild Cherry (or even Calm, Mellow Cherry). All trees have their special powers and through journey work I have learned much about my Staff.
I am still researching Wild Cherry Lore. If I find stuff I will post it later. If you know stuff you could e-mail me. Mention the words "Wild Cherry" in the subject line. Thanks.
One of the seven directions that I call when setting sacred space. "Within" makes certain that I am part of the sacred space. It reminds me to be centered, to stand in the center of my power when I am doing this work.
Everything is Spirit, we are all Spirit. "Within" is standing in sacred space inside out and outside in.
"Within" offers a very important link to the multi-dimensions of Spirit. In physics there is a search for the Grand Unified Field Theory. This is the set of equations that link all the known forces of the universe into one set of relationships. Einstein got the ball rolling with his E=MC2. Physicists have been working on this problem for decades. Finally, they have found the equations which seem to work, (known as Super String Theory). Except there is one small snafu. In order for these equations to work the physicists have to postulate between 10 and 26 dimensions.
Now we all know about height, width and depth. Some even include time as the fourth dimension. Where are those other 22 dimensions? (Or 6 dimensions, if you are doing the 10 dimension super string). The scientist types explain that when the Big Bang (a theory of the beginning of the universe which some scientist types claim is now proven, others (surprise, surprise) don't agree) happened four dimensions, if you include time, got big and the other 22 folded into themselves and became smaller than sub atomic particles.
It is my opinion that these other 22 dimensions folded into us. They form the Realm of Spirit. This is why we go "in" to connect with Spirit. This is why the realms of Spirit are so strange. It has 22 more dimensions, 22 more "directions" to travel along, 22 more degrees of freedom. Consequently the laws of "spiritual physics", so to speak, are really, really different than the laws of physics in the physical world. One might suggest that the laws of "spiritual physics" is another way of describing magic and miracles.
The direction "Within" is the place to connect with this vast, 22 dimensional space. I don't even try to figure it out. I just name it and call Within in its whole form.
Many shaman use a Spirit tree as their access to the shamanic realms. This tree offers them access to the Upper Worlds via the branches, the Middle Worlds via the trunk, and the Lower Worlds by traveling down the roots. It connects all that is. In some images of the World Tree the roots and the branches of the tree weave together so that up and down are the same.
The World Tree is also the Axis Mundi, the center of the cosmos.
This is my state of origin. It is very beautiful in a rugged mountains and high desert kind of way. For people who love hunting and fishing and camping it is a great place. If you are into theater and concerts (other than Country and Western), and art walks, well, it is a little sparse in these areas. It is real big on the rugged individualist icon. Politically quite conservative.
In 1974 it was time for me to get out of "Dodge" so I moved to Oregon.
Wyoming, by the way, is that big land mass south of Montana. It is one of those nice square states in the wild west.
This is a powerful symbol of all that is and is not. It represents the Tao, the mystical "all-ness" that "Those who know the Tao do not speak of it and those who speak of it do not know it". It represents the polarities of life -- note that the black swirl has a white dot and vice versa. Every man has female in him and every woman has male in her. Polarities generate movement. We go away from something toward something else. And we carry where we have been with us. But then, what do I know?
An Israeli psychic who made a big name for himself with his ability to cause spoons to bend by using his mind alone. There have been several things that he has done which are truly amazing and in other cases he has supposedly been caught cheating. True believers believe he is the victim of a conspiracy and the Amazing Randi types are convinced that he is a complete fraud.
Given my experience with bent spoons, I suspect that he has some psychic talents and that when the pressure of fame and the need-to-perform was too great he cheated.