Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gospel of Philip

Because Chris Knowles over at The Secret Sun mentioned The Nag Hammadi library today, thus pulling the book off my shelf, I will furnish one of the passages from these incredible manuscripts before I replace it back between the Tao Teh Ching and a collection of Confucian, Hebrew and Christian writings. The Bible, from which I also quote in this post, I'll set back on the corner of my desk where I keep it along with a novel by R.A. Salvatore (the master), from whom I study the difficult art of writing action scenes. From the Gospel of Philip:

Light and darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor the evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its original nature. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.

Names given to worldly things are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word "God" does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect.

Hebrews 5:14 says, "But strong meat belongest to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Gospel of Philip is strong meat.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Great Schlep

See more Sarah Silverman videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Favorite Keywords

People are incredibly interesting and interested as their google search terms prove. Below are some of my favorite keywords from the list that folks have used to find my blogsite.

thomas jefferson scottish women
I wonder if, anywhere, he found what he was looking for.

ewo lika info sex home free
Love this one! But why did it hit my site!?!

and the flames wrought havoc in the hot bone-house
Sizzle--probably looking for DT.

why is dodge city really hot in the summer and cold in the winter
Yes, why?!

an angel in the skies of kansas?
There is, there is.

Blog Review

Periodically, I look over what my readers are reading. For so long, interest was greatest in my posts for Egyptian Walking Onions! Although that trend continues, two other interests have surpassed Onions in popularity. Here are the latest results.

Kennings and Kennings for Mead: 9.5%

Virtues: Qualities We Admire: 9.2%

Egyptian Walking Onions, The Craze for Egyptian Walking Onions (EWO), Egyptian Walking Onions II: 8.5%

Foreign visitors, interestingly, make up 32.25% of my hits. I don't know if that's a lot or a little.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

As Bobby put it, "A Proud Day..."

There may be sanity in this world after all, as these Pastafarians demonstrated in Arkansas. Congratulations to my fellow pirates for defeating Hate through peaceful and sane demonstration.


Democracy and Reason

Apparently, someone shares my view on this financial debacle. After publishing my post, Longing for Reason, I came across this editorial by Bob Herbert, which said much of what I wanted to say, but better. Take a gander at the complete essay.

Experts need some reasonable amount of time -- I'm talking about days, not weeks -- to home in on the weak points, the loopholes, the potential unintended consequences of a bailout of this magnitude.

The patchwork modifications being offered by Democrats in Congress are insufficient. Reasonable estimates need to be made of the toll to be taken on taxpayers. Reasonable alternatives need to be heard.

Lobbyists, bankers and Wall Street types already are hopping up and down like overexcited children, ready to burst into the government's $700 billion pinata. This widespread eagerness is itself an indication that there is something too sweet about the Paulson plan.

And this from the presidential campaigns concerning the lack of oversight on the situation, that dangerous state of democratic suspension to which we are hustled and bullied by shock doctrines:

Both candidates said they are uncomfortable with the sweeping powers the Bush proposal would give to the secretary of the Treasury. They recommended creation of an independent board that would oversee the rescue.

Obama said "the power to spend $700 billion of taxpayers' money cannot be left up to the discretion of one man, no matter who he is or which party he is from. I have great respect for [Treasury] Secretary [Henry] Paulson, but he cannot act alone."

Longing for Reason

From where comes this notion that it's necessary to suspend democracy in order to deal with crises?

I'm concerned, but certainly not in shock--who could be shocked?--over the current financial disaster. Democracy is strong and flexible, and if we, Americans and our representatives, all take a big breath, sit down, study the problem and do what we do, that is, discuss and debate, we'll produce a far better plan for righting the situation than if we run around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off--chickens with apparently vast wallets from which to toss out billions of dollars.

We responded to Bush's shock doctrine after 9/11, and we are still reaping the rewards of that disaster, not the initial blasts, but the mistakes made while in shock. We forfeited our constitutional rights in the Patriot Act, permitted Bush to aggregate more power in the executive and ignored the U.N. in order to engage in a war, which has killed thousands of our troops (our sons, daughters, fathers, sisters...), Iraqis and allied troops, wounded many thousands more, tainted our international reputation, cost a kajoogle dollars ($10 billion/month! $600 billion so far!) and reduced our ability to respond militarily to all threats to our security by spreading our resources thinly. Ending up, then, in actually reducing our national security!

No more shock therapies.

To all parties involved, I say, "Calm down." It does absolutely no good at all to panic. Clear heads are needed now. At least allow democracy, both strong and flexible, to work at its best before throwing our good money after bad. Isn't that how we got in this mess in the first place, tossing good money after bad?

Below in a youtube vid is Ralph Nader's plan for dealing with the financial crisis, along with some words of wisdom at the end for how to comport ourselves with reason and calm. There are times and reasons for the waving of banners and shouting in streets (or hallways of Congress as McCain did this week), but this isn't one of them.

I must add one more thing. My family's financial situation is closely linked to the economic welfare of the country, Wall Street specifically. The current crisis intimately effects my household for it is from Wall Street that we make a living. From this position, we also have the advantage of seeing that many, many ordinary Americans are gravely effected through their investments, mortgages, retirement accounts, etc. So it is with utmost gravity that I urge for calm. We and our representatives must make the best decisions we can given the information we have. The more information, the more accurate our predictions of the consequences, the more probable it is we will correct or, at least, ameliorate the crisis. It is unacceptable to act rashly when the economic stability of the U.S. is in peril.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Petition for Peace

Have you signed the petition for peace yet?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Drop in the Bucket

In 1977, Jimmy Carter urged Americans to conserve energy, and we didn't do it. Look where our inaction led us, to continued addiction on foreign oil, global warming, and to outrageous prices for gas.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter urged Congress to decriminalize marijuana, and it hasn't been done. Look where our inaction led us, to incarceration of petty smokers, billions of dollars spent on futile law enforcement, escalation of violence among producers and distributors and federal violation of states' legal and constitutional authority. In addition, if we had taken the extra step of legalization, we would not have lost out on the billions in tax revenues and industry profits.

Apparently, we (Americans) are in the process of agreeing to $700 billion in new debt in order to bail out the financial institutions in crisis. Though it's just a drop in the bucket, it is time for the long-awaited legalization of marijuana with conservative estimates of revenue generated at $16 billion per year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A man bends
over the earth, a question.

He is drawn toward
a dust-colored stone

where the rain washes
into an African lake.

Cradled in his palm, the curve
is right, like an orbit

or light bending
around a sun, a skull fragment.

His palm matters
now, the whorls

and dried streams that grip
the land, this convex shard

of bone. His heart crushes
his ears like drums,

stone to stone. The horizon
is eye level in every direction,

an endless being
to walk toward.

by Chet Gresham

John Burnside

Below is an excerpt from an article by John Burnside. I believe he speaks of people in general as much as for gays, though he, understandably, sees life through a Faerie lens. Read the full text here, well worth the few minutes required. The world is not as we wish it, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't communicate our hopes. We should, and Burnside did.

Thanks to The Wild Hunt for the obituary today of John Burnside and for bringing this essay to our attention.

But what of the society within the walls of total conformity? Who are these "men" and "women" in whom spontaneity is displaced by machine-like ritualizations? They represent specializations evolved over eons under selection pressures both biological and social that have shaped them into forms that assure their acceptance in tribal society and access to the resources of the group. For the male the archetype is the hunter-warrior, specialized for killing and for conflict. For the female the archetype is the bearer of young, specialized to nurture and preserve. Today, the hunter wrests bounty from nature by ruthless exploitation of natural resources, while the warrior carries weapons of absolute destruction. And the female, who is still expected to nurture and maintain, finds her powers as preserver mocked and overwhelmed.

Looking at these types, a Gay person of today asks why, in a world so polluted, so overpopulated, and in such grave danger of annihilation, since alternatives are still available for study among tribal people surviving in parts of the world where Stone Age conditions still in part prevail, the ancient archetypes have not been carefully examined and their meaning embodied in new forms. He asks of the men why the powers and strengths of the warrior are not employed against the forces of genuine evil that pervade the world and why as hunter the man is not custodian of nature, protector and enhancer of her bounty rather than waster and destroyer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

"niña de mis ojos"

Gladiola, originally uploaded by mexiquefriend.

I have my IE set to pop up a personalized Yahoo page when I open it. One of my options is new flower photos each day from Flickr. For the most part, they're all the same, bloom after bloom after bloom, but I thought this one in black and white, glads displayed horizontally was pretty. Also, the title in Spanish gives it zing.

In Kansas, glads are done for the year. The blossoms are drop-dead gorgeous, but for my use, I never found them reliable. The plants grow tall stems and are very flower heavy at the top, both of which are disasters for a windy location. There's also the problem of waiting interminably for them to come up from bulb. Not such a trial with tulips, which bloom in spring, but glads are a summer bulb, which means keeping their plot weed-free for months without any reward. I have a few summer lily bulbs, but those have vigorous spring growth, which hold promise while I work. The glads are more secretive about what is to come, and I tend to forget them, accidentally digging up more than I've ever watched bloom. The lilies, too, are more reliable year to year, coming back each season with gusto, thus I count on them. Glad bulbs, on the other hand, are more ephemeral, and I have to plant each year if I want to see them bloom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Women's Groups Endorse Obama...Rightly So.

"Women's rights groups endorsed Barack Obama for president Tuesday, asserting the historic selection of a female Republican vice presidential candidate does not make up for John McCain's lack of support on issues important to women.

'We don't think it's much to break a glass ceiling for one woman and leave millions of women behind,' said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Obama also won the support of the National Organization for Women, which said it has not endorsed a candidate for president since Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro shared the Democratic ticket in 1984. Ferraro was the first female major-party vice presidential candidate."

"Obama was also endorsed by leaders from Business and Professional Women/USA, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Congress of Black Women and the Women's Information Network."

I approve this message!

Driven Insane by Clocks

Ma, Ma, Ma--Mother, Mother, Mother! Everyone foolishly assumes that his clock alone tells correct time. Christians claim to possess exclusive truth, and even modern liberal thinkers reiterate the same claim to exclusivity. Countless varieties of Hindus insist that their sect, no matter how small and insignificant, expresses the ultimate position. Devout Muslims maintain that Koranic revelation supersedes all others. The entire world is being driven insane by this single phrase: "My religion alone is true." O Mother, you have shown me that no clock is entirely accurate. Only the transcendent sun of knowledge remains on time. Who can make a system from Divine Mystery? But if any sincere practitioner, within whatever culture or religion, prays and meditates with great devotion and commitment to Truth alone, Your Grace will flood his mind and heart, O Mother. His particular sacred tradition will be opened and illuminated. He will reach the one goal of spiritual evolution. Mother, Mother, Mother! How I long to pray with sincere Christians in their churches and to bow and prostrate with devoted Muslims in their mosques! All religions are glorious! Yet if I display too much freedom, every religious community will become angry with me. I might even be forbidden to enter Your Temple again, O blissful Kali. Therefore take me secretly into the sanctuary of every tradition without exception, and I will worship ceaselessly with all humanity, night and day.

-Ramakrishna (1836-1886)
translated interpretatively by Lex Hixon

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Barack Obama on Energy

In addition to plans for liberating America from its binding use of oil and converting to renewable energy resources, thus making our country independent of nefarious foreign supplies, Barack Obama also has a plan to reduce gas prices in the short-term.

The comprehensive plan proposed by the Obama-Biden team can be found here. It's clean, progressive, and it meets with my approval!

Concerning Obama's plans for the SPR:

"...A crucial aspect of America's energy security not widely discussed is how to best use America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Sen. Barack Obama is proposing a simple maneuver -- called an exchange, or swap -- that will help lower the price of oil for consumers, increase the amount of oil in the SPR, increase energy security, and leave taxpayers better off by about $1 billion. His proposal deserves to be adopted.

"The House and Senate are considering legislation to mandate such a swap, and Mr. Obama has adopted the concept as part of his energy plan. The public benefits are compelling. Swaps that help energy security, refiners and consumers should be a routine part of managing the SPR."

For the whole article at the Wall Street Journal, look to Obama Has a Plan To Manage Our Oil Reserve.

Barack Obama, Aug. 4, 2008, On Energy in Michigan.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Our native Kansas sunflowers are in full bloom along my route to the grocery store. I couldn't resist a few shots. Beautiful sky.


I fear Sam Harris' observation (The End of Faith, 2004) will prove true of the Obama campaign.

"Here we come upon a terrible facet of ethically asymmetric warfare: when your enemy has no scruples, your own scruples become another weapon in his hand."

Will Obama's insistence on integrity in his campaign be his downfall? Please, don't let it be so.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Heidi's Visit

Heidi, the German short-hair pointer not the girl, came for a puppy visit yesterday evening.
Here are four of the five dogs. Maggie is the German short-hair pointer on the left back. Otis is the squirt with the girl. Gracie (German wire-hair) and Heidi are in the front. Then Hannah, our black Labrador, came out to play. She loved Heidi, and Heidi loved her. They had a great time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grant Me to See BaituLlah.

Does anyone ever wonder how much we're missing by our fanatic paranoia of Islam? Personally, learning from other traditions doesn't scare me in the least. Bring it on, I say! Mysticsaint (Sep.7) posted a video of a Bosnian chant and very kindly provided a translation to it. This kind of thing makes the blogosphere worthwhile, people reaching out to share their knowledge and perspective.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Man and Woman are Created

Then from the throng.....did three come forth,
From the home of the gods,.....the mighty and gracious;
Two without fate.....on the land they found,
Ask and Embla,.....empty of might.

Soul they had not,.....sense they had not,
Heat nor motion,.....nor goodly hue;
Soul gave Othin,.....sense gave Hnir,
Heat gave Lothur.....and goodly hue.

-Völuspá, 17 and 18 (trans. Bellows)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Position Statements from NOW on 2008 VPs

Below are links to the position statements of the National Organization for Women on the vice-presidential candidates for 2008. They are short, clear; take only a few minutes to read.

The Republican VP Candidate

The Democratic VP Candidate

Love, Compassion, Peace...

An excerpt from the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
University Aula, Oslo, 10 December 1989

As a Buddhist monk, my concern extends to all members of the human family and, indeed, to all sentient beings who suffer. I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

With the ever growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment.

I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same.

As we enter the final decade of this century I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century.

I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kennings for Mead

To my visitor who was looking for a kenning for mead, here is a catalog of kennings online. Notice that mead isn't on the list, but that doesn't mean there isn't one or more. The search piqued my interest, and I will pay particular attention for them now as I read.

As I flipped through casually, I did find in Loki's Quarrel from The Poetic Eddas this phrase in stanza 4, "mixed their mead with malice." Interesting, but not a kenning. When Sigurn joins Helgi, Second Poem of Helgi Hundingsbani, in his death mound, they share a "precious liquid," which could be mead. When I first read it, I morbidly thought the liquid was blood (after all she's sleeping with a dead man), but the commentary suggested Sigurn brought mead or ale with her.

It's an important topic because the presence of mead is indicative of symbel (sumbel), definitive if it's mentioned with other elements of the custom. In this respect, it's just as important to watch for the mention of bragarfull, name both of the draught and the ceremony. I've seen the bragarfull defined as a mix of ale and mead, but also just as mead.

Addendum: An additional site for more Eddic-type kennings is here.

The Poetic Eddas: First Impression

I finished reading both translations of the Poetic Eddas, but I am by no means finished with them. They are friggin' fascinating.

I went into them expecting warrior elite tales along the line of Beowulf and Y Gododdin, but they are nothing like that. Well, they are like that...I mean...much flashing of swords and spilling of blood, hearts on platters and honor and revenge and so forth, but the Eddas are all about...duhn duhn duhn...women. Women are prime movers and shapers of events. Females, whether goddess, valkyrie or mortal, share the role of prophecy and the knowledge of runes. Women act as advisors, the sages. Even Odin, their equal in this respect, says, "Advise me now, Frigg, I intend to journey...."* It's a seeress who reveals the nature of the beginning and the end of the world to Odin. In all these tales, women control wealth, lands, and men.

There is a difference between the role of goddesses and mortal women. Goddesses are powerful and wise, but the divine tales are primarily of the actions of gods, Thor and Odin and Loki. Gods often act on their own motives, independent of the will of a goddess. In the mortal tales, on the other hand, men do much of the slaying but they do it for and/or because of women—although women are not above killing. Women are sometimes in love, loving, ambitious, angry, vengeful, prophetic, sorcerous, betrayed, traitorous, wise, etc. These human qualities, embodied in women, provide the impetus of the storylines.

Notably, it's women who suffer. Although women possess power, they are also victims. In the Lay of Volund, for example, one of the strangest of the Eddas I thought (a mix of magic, semi-divine beings, craft and mortal regret), Bodvild is raped by Volund (Weland the Smith). "He overcame her with beer, because he was more experienced." She laments the event and the child with which he leaves her, "I did not know how to strive against him, I was not able to strive against him!"

In another tragedy as gut wrenching and sorrowful as anything Shakespeare ever wrote, Brynhild, too, suffers. This time, from betrayal. She arranges the death of the lover whom she was denied, Sigurd, in revenge against him. Brynhild's reaction is as tragic as the circumstance. She wakes in the night, Sigurd's death heavy on her mind.

little could they understand the behaviour of women,
now that, weeping, she began to speak of
that which, laughing, she'd asked the men for.

In the end, Brynhild takes her own life upon a sword.

Gudrun (Guthrun), especially, suffers within the Sigurd stories, yet she is also vengeful and, at one point, fights as a shield-maiden. At another, she kills her two sons in revenge against her second husband. All her children are eventually killed before her death. Her laments are excruciating.

Three fires have I known, three hearths have I known
to three husbands' houses I was brought.
Sigurd alone for me was better than all others,
whom my brothers did to death.

The men come off as brave, yet somewhat simple-minded; Atli (Attila), for example, in the Greenlandic Poem of Atli;

The prince's credulity was enough for him to believe this,
her treachery was clear if he had looked out for it.

The Lay of Fafnir, the simplest of the Eddas to my mind is, also, without a direct feminine presence. A tale of manly arms and battle with a dragon, it is most like Beowulf. The following stanza, spoken by Sigurth, is not unlike something Beowulf might speak.

My courage whetted me, my hands assisted me
and my sharp sword;
few are brave when they become old,
if they are cowardly in childhood.

Unlike Beowulf, though, it doesn't end without reference to a greater cycle of stories, all which prominently figure women. In fact, the gold which Sigurth wins from the dragon, Fafnir, whom he kills, becomes, in a way, the basis of all subsequent strife. Near the end, the nuthatches** tell Sigurth, "I know a girl, the fairest by far, endowed with gold, yet you could win her," and thus begin the saga.

These are my brief, general impressions at first reading, but there are a lot of stories, composed in different centuries, in different languages, collected from a wide region, transmitted by various means, poem, prose, song, written and oral. So far, all I really know is that on opening the box, I've discovered "resounding gold and glowing red treasure," and I have gold-lust for the "fire of the serpent's bed." With the Edda's words, stories, history and culture, I'm in love.

*translations by Carolyne Larrington
**While I write, I hear nuthatches outside my window. I wonder what they're saying.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On McPalin

Giving me a hearty chuckle, Pico at Wild Chihuahuas said it best, "D'ya think Jerry Springer did the vetting?"

Blondes and Brunettes

A friend of ours recently had the fortune to be in the right place and time to pick out this sweet blonde from a local breeder, who couldn't register her because of her off color. Our friend doesn't care that she's the wrong color, and she IS from good dogs. She's a German shorthair pointer he named Heidi. Close in age to our own darling brunette, below, they will be learning the ropes together.
We took Tuesday to drive down to Tulsa and pick out our girl from the litter. She's a German wire-haired pointer we named Gracie. She howled all through the night, but I didn't sleep where I could hear her, because I know this puppy game from way back.
These two photos were taken at a rest stop not far from the big Ark and Tulsa. She didn't even have a name yet.
The Arkansas River as it runs by Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Lyon Greene

These blear'd eyes
Have wak'd to read your several colours, sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock's tail, the plumed swan.

Thou hast descry’d the flower, the sanguis agni?
Ben Jonson
The Alchemist

Three things suffice for the work: a white smoke, which is water; a green Lion, which is the ore of Hermes, and a fetid water… the stone, known from the chapters of books, is white smoke and water.
Michael Maier
Atalanta Fugiens

Of this self-same body, which is the matter of the Stone, three things are chiefly said; that it is a green Lion, a stinking Gum, and a white Fume.
Having twelve pounds of Green Lion thus brought into gum, thou mayst believe…
St. Dunstan (pseudo)
Philosophia Maturata

A green Gum called our green Lyon, which Gum dry well, yet beware thou not burn his Flowers nor destroy his greenness.
Sir George Ripley
The Bosome-Book of Sir George Ripley

You will see marvelous signs of this Green Lion, such as could be bought by no treasures of the Roman Leo.
The Treasure of Treasures

Beware therefore of many, and hold thee to one thing. This one thing is naught else but the lyon greene...
Bloomfield’s Blossoms

I know well this Lyon Greene…
Hunting of the Greene Lyon

Upon the delicate leaves thereof it retaineth for our use that sweet heavenly honey which is called the manna, and, although it be of a gummy, oily, fat, and greasy substance, it is, notwithstanding, unconsumable by any fire.
Gargantua and Pantagruel

This is called the blessed stone; this earth is white and foliated, wherein the Philosophers do sow their gold… The fourth color is Ruddy and Sanguine, which is extracted from the white fire only.
Jean d’Espagnet
The Hermetic Arcanum

O how many are the seekers after this gum, and how few there are who find it! Know ye that our gum is stronger than gold, and all those who know it do hold it more honorable than gold… Our gum, therefore, is for Philosophers more precious and more sublime than pearls…
Turba Philosophorum

Therefore I affirm that the Universal Medicine for bodies is the philosophic gold, after it has been separated and drawn to the highest state of perfection. Our common gold has absolutely nothing in common with the philosophic gold we use to begin our task. In that respect common gold is dead and clearly useless.
Philip a Gabella
Consideratio Brevis

By gold I mean our green gold- not the adored lump, which is dead and ineffectual.
Thomas Vaughan
Aula Lucis

Take the fire, or quicklime, of which the philosophers speak, which grows on trees, for in that God himself burns with divine love.
Gloria Mundi

It appears then that this Stone is a Vegetable, as it were, the sweet Spirit that proceeds from the Bud of the Vine…
Count Bernard Trevisan
Verbum Dismissum

Trust my word, seek the grass that is trefiol. Thou knowest the name, and art wise and cunning if thou findest it.
The Sophic Hydrolith

You ought to know concerning the Quintessence, that it is a matter little and small, lodged and harbored in some Tree, Herb, Stone, or the like…
The Tomb of Semiramis

It contains the fire of Nature, or the Universal Spirit; with Air as its vehicle it contains Water, which must be separated in the beginning of the work, and also earth which remains behind in the form of caput mortuum, where the fire has left it, and is the true Red Earth wherein the fire dwelt for a while. The subject, duly collected, should not be less than eight nor more than sixteen ounces: place it in a china or glazed basin and cover it loosely to keep the dust out.
Sigismond Bacstrom
Rosicrucian Aphorisms and Process

Long have I had in my nostrils the scent of the herb moly which became so celebrated thanks to the poets of old… this herb is entirely chemical. It is said that Odysseus used it to protect himself against the poisons of Circe and the perilous singing of the Sirens. It is also related that Mercury himself found it and that it is an effective antidote to all poisons. It grows plentifully on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia…
Michael Maier
Septimana Philosophica

Our secret fire, that is, our fiery and sulfurous water, which is called Balneum Mariae… this water is a white vapor.
The Secret Book of Artephius

Know the secret fire of the wise, which is the one and sole agent efficient for the opening, subliming, purifying, and disposing of the material.
Letter to the True Disciples of Hermes

Study, then, this fire, for had I myself found it at the first, I should not have erred two hundred times upon the veritable material.
John Pontanus
The Secret Fire

No philosopher has ever openly Revealed this secret fire, and this powerful Agent, which works all the Wonders of the Art.
The Hermetic Triumph

Mercury, i.e. the white flower, can be used and applied to the tinctures of all planets.
The Little Peasant

Our true and real Matter is only a vapor…This Green Dragon is the natural Gold of the Philosophers, exceedingly different from the vulgar, which is corporeal and dead… but ours is spiritual, and living… Our Gold is called Natural, because it is not to be made by Art, and since it is known to none, but the true Disciples of Hermes, who understand how to separate it from its original Lump, ‘tis also called Philosophical; and if God had not been so gracious, as to create this first Chaos to our hand, all our Skill and Art in the Construction of the great Elixir would be in vain.
Baron Urbigerus
Aphorismi Urbigerani

“This stone is of delicate touch, and there is more mildness in its touch than in its substance…. Of sweet taste, and its proper nature is aerial.”Khalid said: “Tell me of its odor, before and after its confection.”Morienus answered: “Before confectioning, its odor is very heavy and foul. “I know of no other stone like it nor having its powers. While the four elements are contained in this stone, it being thus like the world in composition, yet no other stone like it in power or nature is to be found in the world, nor has any of the authorities ever performed the operation other than by means of it. And the compositions attempted by those using anything else in this composition will fail utterly and come to nothing.“The thing in which the entire accomplishment of this operation consists of the red vapor, the yellow vapor, the white vapor, the green lion, ocher, the impurities of the dead and of the stones, blood, eudica, and foul earth. “Begin in the Creator’s name, and with his vapor take the whiteness from the white vapor. “The whole key to accomplishment of this operation is in the fire, with which the minerals are prepared and the bad spirits held back, and with which the spirit and body are joined. “In answer to you question about the white vapor, or virgin’s milk, you may know that it is a tincture and spirit of those bodies already dissolved and dead, from which the spirits have been withdrawn. It is the white vapor that flows in the body and removes its darkness, or earthiness, and impurity, uniting the bodies into one and augmenting their waters. “Without the white vapor, there could have been no pure gold nor any profit in it.”
The Book of Morienus

Let it be sublimed in an high body and head…
Search of Perfection

Our Subject cannot be called the fiery Serpent of the Philosophers, nor have the power of overcoming any created thing, before it has received such Virtue and Quality from our Green-Dragon…
Baron Urbigerus

Posted by Anonymous to Rivergarth at September 2, 2008 12:21 PM in response to Essential Substances.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stone Hearts

Woe to that heart
Who cannot sense
the beauty in music!

Never waste your time
Discussing love’s ways
With a stone heart.

Strangers to love
Are not invited
To the Spiritual Concert.

Only those who burn
Will give off smoke.

Sa΄dī (1207-1291)