Chapter Seventeen

ISLANDS
- side two -







- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Ladies of the Road | pg. 2 - A Flower Lady's Daughter | pg. 3 - Taming the Ox
pg. 4 - Prelude : Song of the Gulls | pg. 5 - Returning Home | pg. 6 - Islands
pg. 7 - Earth, Stream and Tree | pg. 8 - Beneath the Wind Turned Wave | pg. 9 - Dark Harbor Quays
pg. 10 - The Ego and the Self | pg. 11 - Magnum Opus

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The Star | Aquarius II


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6. Returning Home Riding the Ox

"What place in these cloudy mountains is not my home?
There's greenery everywhere - so lush it's hard to tell
Crops from wild grasses. I don't intrude on planted fields.
I ride the Ox and let him graze along the roadside."

- Xu Yun's Commentary on the Oxherding Pictures

"And then in the sixth picture, it's called Riding the Ox Home. That shows the young man sitting on the ox, playing his flute. And the ox goes, he's no longer even concerned about leading the ox cause the ox is now going home. It's like, when you ride a horse, when you're on the homeward path, it goes by itself. It knows where to go, you don't have to lead it. You have the bridle in your hand. So that's the analogy. Once you get established in the path, then nature and spirit are really going in the same direction."

- Ralph Metzner

"Intuition is the psychological function that the child uses while in the womb. In the womb, the human child knows what to do by instinct, to move toward or away from its environment; however, there is no reflecting ego that thinks, feels, or senses that it is "I" who know. It knows without knowing how it knows or who it is that knows."

- The Genesis Model
by Gerry Anne Lenhart


"In the dancer, spirit and instinct flow together; there is no opposition between them. This is why she is nude, to show that she is in her natural state and is truly following her inner nature. Nudity represents the absence of shame in the natural state, but is especially a symbol of truth ("the truth unveiled," cf. "Isis unveiled"), which manifests in 21.World. (Guiley & Place 124; Nichols 350)."

- The Pythagorean Tarot
by John Opsopaus



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"In the Tarot, The Star card is associated with the astrological sign of Aquarius."

- Aquarius and the Internet

"The star represents a guiding force: sailors use the stars to set their course, farmers use them to tell the seasons, and astrologers use them to chart the course of history. When the Sun has set and the Moon is dark - in psychological terms, when we have neither solar nor lunar illumination - then the stars are our only guide. They are the "inner constellations" (the chakras), which are always there, but invisible in the glare of consciousness.
Moakley (106) thinks it appropriate that XVI.Star follows XV.Tower (Hellmouth), since after Dante emerged from Hell in the Inferno, the first thing he saw were the stars, a welcome sign of hope and rebirth.)

In Greek myth, as in Genesis, the first woman is the agent of humanity's promotion from the blissful unawareness of the first Golden Age, to the self-conscious struggle of human existence. In Hesiod (W&D 42-105), as in Genesis, the woman is set up, entrapped. Indeed, Hesiod tells us that the Pandora affair was a direct consequence of Prometheus stealing the celestial illumination of Zeus and giving it to mankind. Pandora's mistake is a consequence of her curiosity, a characteristic of humanity which is dangerous, but also the force behind many of our accomplishments. Thanks to curious Pandora, thoughtful Prometheus, and even impulsive Epimetheus, we are human, though life might be less stressful if we were still the blissfully ignorant pets of the Olympians.

The Astral Woman has emerged from the unconscious depths, to which she will eventually return. She is a complement to the Self, the Anima of a man, the Shadow of a woman."

- The Pythagorean Tarot
by John Opsopaus



Star - Pythagorean Tarot "The woman is Gaia, or Mother Nature - she is the same woman opening the lion's mouth in the Strength card, and she is The Empress."

- Star, Key 17, Tzaddi
from Borndigital

"Formerly she was imprisoned in the Tower (the overactive ego) "by cruel King Logos," but was freed by a bolt from the blue, which caused her to fall into the Abyssal waters, from which she emerges reborn. The devastating bolt, actively transforming the world, contrasts with cool, quiet starlight, passively guiding those who choose to peer into the darkness.

The Lake of Memory in front of the woman is the Abyssal Womb of Rebirth (Re-collection), from which she emerged and to which she will return. In psychological terms the pool holds the waters of the collective unconscious, which flow, deep and dark, beyond the control of any individual. The woman fills her vessels from the pool, taking whatever the unconscious has to offer, and, after consciously blending and decanting the insights offered, returns the water to its source, aerated and refreshed.

As Jung explains, the eight-points of the large star represent completeness, in this case of the Individuated Self; it is the Star Shield of Inanna, a mandala of wholeness, arising for the first time from the stable center in the depths of the pool. Its substance is shown by its colors: red for emotion and yellow for intuition. Its motion is shown by its form, which like Fortune's Wheel comprises the four qualities (yellow rays, intuition) and the four elements (red rays, feeling) generated from them, and rotates to effect the alchemical magnum opus, which is the process of Individuation.

The two trees represent Eros and Eris (Love and Strife) as forces of transformation. The dark Tree of Knowledge represents the impulse to know through intellectual strife and division, which is embodied in the masculine elements air and fire. The white Tree of Life represents the impulse to live through emotional love and union, which is embodied in the feminine elements water and earth."

- The Pythagorean Tarot
by John Opsopaus



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Alchemists, as we learned in chapter five, have used birds, like the Swan and Peacock, as symbols of alchemical transformation. Birds represent a transition between matter (earth) and spirit (sky).

"The birds form a link between water and earth and air: for they have their origin in the water, they live on the earth and they fly in the air."

- Basilius
An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Book II)
Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 9


Because gulls inhabit the air, earth and sea, the song foreshadows the union of elements (the re-union of psychological functions) in Islands.

"Aquarian awareness potentially relates and binds things together into a synthetic whole; it recognises the bond that exists between seemingly disparate things. It is in Aquarius that substance and the imprisoned soul begin to work mutually; in a higher expression of Aquarian energy, soul and spirit are expressed through substance (bringing humanitarian vision into the world of manifestation)."

The sign of In the Court of the Crimson King (the song) is Leo.

"If in Leo (the polarity of Aquarius: its opposite sign) the personality orientation is selfish, in Aquarius it is outgoing. So the superficial awareness that matures in Leo (which leads to deep-seated self-consciousness and a profound interest in self) must be consummated in the vision and humanitarianism of Aquarius, resulting in a deepening of qualities. The intensive self-consciousness of Leo must expand into the group consciousness of Aquarius. The individual thereby becomes universal."

- D. K. Foundation

"Self consciousness arises through intelligent awareness in the sign Leo, as a development out of mass consciousness (Cancer). The third phase of development is group consciousness and intuitional awareness that is ruled by the sign Aquarius, so significant to us at this time."

- D. K. Foundation

As a meditation on creatures that can escape the bonds of earth, Prelude: Song of the Gulls represents a yearning for reconnection with the higher self.

Colors: A light blue, the color of the sky...to which Aquarius' head is always lifted.

Animals: Birds - they can access the sky.

- Aquarius

"Aquarius brings with it a compelling desire for spiritual rebirth but instead of looking constantly outside ourselves we will look within to find that we are linked to the universe and to God."

- Age of Aquarius

"Aquarius is associated with the month of February; which has its derivation from februare, 'to cleanse', from Latin februarius '(month) of purification' [ENC]. In Roman times it was during the time when the sun was in Aquarius that people cleaned their homes, farms and barns after the long dark winter."

- Aquarius, the Water Bearer
by Anne Wright


"By cultivating one's nature one will return to virtue. When virtue is perfect, one will be one with the Beginning. Being one with the Beginning, one becomes vacuous, and being vacuous, one becomes great. One will then be united with the sound and breath of things. When one is united with the sound and breath of things, one is then united with the universe. This unity is intimate and seems to be stupid and foolish. This is called profound and secret virtue, this is complete harmony."

- Taoism. Chuang Tzu 12


7. The Bull Transcended

"Astride the bull, I reach home.
I am serene. The bull too can rest.
The dawn has come. In blissful repose,
Within my thatched dwelling I have abandoned the whip and rope."

Comment: "All is one law, not two. We only make the bull a temporary subject. It is as the relation of rabbit and trap, of fish and net. It is as gold and dross, or the moon emerging from a cloud. One path of clear light travels on throughout endless time."

- Kakuan's Commentary on the Oxherding Pictures

"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 evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal."

- The Gospel of Philip




Islands : side two ~ Prelude : Song of the Gulls
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Islands : side two ~ Islands



Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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