"Hermes is the God who puts people to sleep and wakes them at dawn, and
so he is called the Light Bringer (Phosphoros, Lucifer), as is the cock.
(Hermes brings both obscurity and illumination, dreams and clarity.)"
Alchemists sometimes used bird symbols to represent the five stages of
alchemical transformation. Because the Swan and the Peacock represent,
respectively, the second and third stages of this process, Peter Sinfield's
explicit and sequential reference to these birds in
tells us that this composition has everything to do with Alchemy. The color
"black" (in "black worm seed') is therefore used to signify the
first stage of alchemical transformation, referred to symbolically as the Black
"A sight, a sound, a gift by chance conferred,
Transforms your life, and leads the soul beyond."
"The Black Crow, sometimes also called the Raven, is the beginning of the
great work of soul alchemy. This indicates the initial stages of the
alchemist's encounter with his inner space, through withdrawing from the outer
world of the senses in meditation, and entering what is initially the dark
inner world of the soul. Thus this stage is also described in alchemical texts
as the blackening, the nigredo experience, and it is often pictured as a death
process, as in the caput mortuum, the deaths head, or as some alchemical
illustrations show, the alchemist dying within a flask."
"In earlier times cosmic harmony was placed as a great Ideal before those who
were to be leaders among their
fellow-men. Therefore in all ages and wherever there was consciousness of
these things, men spoke of Sun Heroes. In
the temples and sanctuaries of the Mysteries there were seven degrees of
Initiation. I will speak of them as they were
known in ancient Persia.
The first stage is attained when a man's ordinary feeling and thinking is
raised to a higher level, where knowledge of the
Spirit is attained. Such a man received the name of `Raven.' It is the
`Ravens' who inform the Initiates in the temples
what is happening in the world outside. When medieval poetic wisdom desired
to depict in the person of a great Ruler
an Initiate who amid the treasures of wisdom contained in the Earth must
await the great moment when newly revealed
depths of Christianity rejuvenate mankind -- this poetic wisdom of the
Middle Ages created the figure of
Frederick Barbarossa, ravens were his heralds. The Old Testament, too,
speaks of the ravens in the story of Elijah."
The song begins with a sound suggesting the lifting of a veil, the veil between
waking and sleep, life and death.
The song's title,
Prince Rupert Awakes
, is ironic in that it is, perhaps, the most dreamlike piece King Crimson ever
recorded. The song could have been entitled "Prince Rupert's Dream",
but Peter Sinfield used the title he did, in part, to say that through this
dream Rupert realizes (awakens) to some of what is happening in his world. As
in a dream (or in a William S. Burroughs novel, wherein different story lines
are presented in fragments), the subject alternates (even in mid-stanza)
between the themes of Mongol invasion, Frederick's struggle with the papacy and
the Catholic renunciation of reason. This may not make much sense to us, but to
Frederick it would be reasonable to think of and discuss the papacy and the
Mongols as, in some ways, interchangeable.
Farewell the temple masters bells
His kiosk and his black worm seed
In Islamic architecture a kiosk is an open circular pavilion consisting of a
roof supported by pillars. The summer palaces of the sultans of Turkey were
called kiosks. Black (worm) Seed was a vermifuge (treatment for worms) closely
associated with Islam.
"Black Seed is one of the oldest medicinal plants known in human history. It
was used by the
Assyrians long before the Egyptians who also used it. A vial of Black Seed oil
was found in
King Tut's tomb. The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament talks about it.
herbals extolled its virtues but its biggest supporter was probably the founder
Muhammed, who said "Black Seed will cure anything...except death." Today it is
"Seed of Blessing" in the Middle East because of its usefulness in so many
Traditional uses (among about 50 in the Arabic texts) include everything from
milk and decreasing impotence to expelling worms!"
Muslims have been using and promoting the use of the "black seed" or
"al-habbatus-sawdaa" for hundreds of years. A large part of this herbal
popularity is based on the teachings of the Prophet."
"The Prophet's Medicine is a collection of all the hadiths
that touch on the subject of sickness or medical
treatment. Perhaps the most referred-to hadith in the
collection is the one concerning al-habba al-sawda ("the
black seed," or fennel), also known as "the seed of
blessing." "This black seed contains the cure to any
ailment with the exception of death," the Prophet is
supposed to have said.
Kulunji - its mention in the Hadith and its medicinal values
"The name Kulunji has become quite common to many of us. We Muslims, more
especially, attach great importance to the use of this black-seed because of
the emphasis Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has placed on it.
The Hadith states, "Hold on to (the essential use of) the 'black seed', for
certainly in it is a cure for every sickness except (the sickness which
Allah has decreed for one's) death".
All eminent and famous Hakims of the past and present have written on the
medicinal benefits and healing properties of Kulunji. There hasn't been a
period among Muslims of the world when the use of it was ever stopped. At
all times the seed was utilised with the belief and faith that benefits will
be derived in practising the Holy Prophet's (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)
Sunnah with regard to the use of Kulunji."
"Tibb Nabawi refers to words and actions of the Prophet with a bearing on
disease, treatment of
disease, and care of patients. Thus also included are words of the prophet on
In his book, A
Tibb al Nabawi, Imaam Ibn al Qayim mentions many medical conditions for which
provided guidance. Of Prophetic medicine treatments mentioned, the black seed
al sauda) was especially emphasised.
The black seed (nigella sativa) is an example of
a prophetic remedy that has been studied extensively by both Muslims and
Akhtar et al (1991) studied the effect of
the black seed on nematode worm infection in children."
Frederick had read the Koran, identified closely with the Moslem world and was
as much a man of the east as the west. This opening passage is a lament for the
destruction of mosques at the hands of the Mongol invaders and for his loss of
contact with the east due to papal pressure. In this passage, Frederick is
saying goodbye to Arab friends, culture and religion. "Bells" refers
to Arabic music, "kiosks" to Arabic architecture and "black worm
seed" to the strong purifying medicine of Islam.
"The best medicine for purifying the heart is to adhere to the Shariat.
It is understood that it is necessary to obey the Islam for purifying the
heart. Obeying the Shariat means doing the commandments and abstaining from
prohibitions and bidats."
"When he turns to Allah with humility and devotion, he performs an act of
`Ibadah. `Ibadah is a means of purifying man's physical and spiritual life.
The obligatory rituals of `Ibadah are prayers (Salah), fasting (Saum), Zakah,
pilgrimage (Hajj), and struggling in the ways of Allah (Jehad). These along
with Iman are often called the pillars of Islam."
"The word Zakat literally means purity or purification. It also has the
significance of being the third pillar of Islam, after shahaadah (Proclamation
of Faith) and Salah (Prayer). The word Zakat is tied to Salah over 80 times in
Zakah not only purifies the property of the contributor but also purifies his
heart from selfishness and greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient
from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead
good-will and warm wishes for the contributors."
As mentioned in chapter three, the facet of Frederick II absent from the first
In the Court of the Crimson King
, is the Arabic influence in his life. For those who own the
LP, the marbling on the inside gatefold sleeve (by "Koraz"
Wallpapers) is immediately recognizable as an artifact of Arabic culture, and,
of course, on the back cover is an illustration of east-west conflict. The
album begins with an overt reference to Islam:
Bid me face the east closed me in questions."
"A craving suddenly flashed out to bid the west good-bye and to seek again the
alluring spaces of the east. In a letter to the Nicaean Emperor Vatatzes, after
various complaints against revolutionaries and deceitful priests who dared to
depose a king, Frederick wrote : 'But such things happen more easily in our
western lands ! O happy Asia ! O happy rulers of the Orient ! who fear neither
the dagger of the rebel nor the superstitions invented by the priest !' Such an
outburst of personal feeling was rare in Frederick's state correspondence. It
tallies with the legend that he had contemplated abdication and dreamt of
betaking himself for ever to the east, promising to conquer the whole of Syria.
A new Empire in the Orient, now that he had exhausted what the narrow west
could offer ; intercourse with Muslim friends ; subjects whose only thought was
blind obedience even unto death--these were the Emperor's castles in the air.
Such a journey to the east as he desired was not to be. In another fashion,
more bitter than the resignation of a throne, than a gradual retreat towards
the east, he was to be gradually weaned from the men and things and states of