Visiting Arthur’s last battle

Yesterday I visited the assumed battle site at Camlann Slaughter’s Bridge. Here, according to legend, Arthur intended to make peace with his nephew / son Mordred. But a snake in the grass startled a knight. As the knights sword cut off the snake’s head, it also marked the start of the war. In the end Arthur killed Mordred, but Mordred also mortally wounded Arthur. Walking around the battle site I found two crow’s feathers on the path. At the site there lies an inscribed memorial stone of the battle under two or three sycamore trees. Here I paid tribute to a legendary tragic battle.

Bidden in de sauna

Soms wanneer ik een lage weerstand heb, dan ga ik naar de sauna. Sauna Ridderrode. Alleen. Zoals vanavond. Dan ga ik eerst in de hete citroensauna, vervolgens een minuut onder water in het koude dompelbad en tot slot in het zwembad. Daar in een hoek van het zwembad kun je een waterstraal starten d.m.v. het indrukken van een grote zwarte knop. En bij die waterstraal zit een grote gele lamp met daaromheen een grote ijzeren ring waar je je stevig aan vast kunt houden. En daar ga ik naartoe om te bidden. Ooit heb ik bij toeval ontdekt dat door de waterstraal tegen de buik en de speling van het licht van de lamp er een magisch spel van vonken en vlammen kan ontstaan in de schittering van het water. Kan ontstaan, want het is een heel specifiek gebeuren. Ik moet iets naar voor of juist naar achter leunen. Naar links of rechts. Wat in- of uitademen. En dan kan het ineens gebeuren dat ik het zie: puur vlammende lichtgele energie met blauwe vlammen erdoor. Pure energie. Dansend. Ik kan het niet goed verklaren, maar voor mij is dat net alsof ik God aankijk. Gehypnotiseerd staar ik dan zo’n vijf minuten in die heilige vlammen. Totdat het ineens voorbij is. Silte… Langzaam kom ik uit mijn tranche en besef ik weer waar ik ben. En met een weemoedige glimlach denk ik: no more shall we part. En ga ik door met de volgende saunaronde.

Losing the stars

About that other link with nature that we have lost: the stars.

We are all aware of the dire state of Mother Earth, but many people (including myself) seem to overlook that we also have lost our connection with that other divine source of inspiration: the stars.

At my high school, during the social development class there was a subject, which I did not understood at the time. I even thought it was stupid! It was about horizon pollution. At the time I thought that it was not relevant at all. If you are no longer able to see the fields, because buildings have been erected, this is just a signal of human evolution, right? Why would it be an issue when it does not get dark at night? I failed to see that we would then no longer be able to see the stars.

A couple of years ago, I was in the middle of nowhere in a Spanish town called Olmedo and I was struck to the core when I saw the clear night sky. Without any aid whatsoever, just with my naked eye, I was able to distinguish, thousands and thousands of stars. Not that I was able to identify them, though….

And now I have started reading a book called ‘Homer’s Secret Iliad’. It is about how Homer integrated the knowledge of the Greek people about the stars inside the Iliad. Not as just some deeper layer in the book. It is the other way around. Homer wrote the Iliad in order to pass on the sacred knowledge of the stars for the posterity. At the time there was no printing yet, but it was considered imperative that the star knowledge was shared amongst the ordinary people as well. With Homers’ Iliad the Greek star knowledge could be shared by minstrels to a much greater group of people.

Because every man and woman is a star.

Passionate quest for truth

This period of the year is the time of going inward and to find new and deeper truths about ourselves. Truths are convenient personal operating tools for the ego. You can only see those truths which you are able to handle. But when you shed one truth for a more profound one, beneath this new truth another truth lays waiting for you. There will always be deeper truths, but the purpose of a truth is to give you a stable environment of the ego in which your soul can develop. Continuous letting go of truths is a way of living, a quest so to speak. Obtaining one great spiritual truth, stopping there and becoming a guru is not enlightenment. This is spiritual laziness. The trick is to let go of truth when the time is right. As you don’t want to crack the egg before the chick is grown, you also don’t want to leave a full grown chicken in the egg. When people stop Dancing often a chicken starts growing in the egg. Truth requires you to leave your comfort zones behind and this is often a painful process as new truths destroy old ideas and dogmas. But this is the way of the passionate truth.

David Bowie’s black Madonna

On Bowie’s last album there is a very intriguing song called ‘It’s a pity she is a whore’. The lyrics mention Bowie being punched, robbed, and castrated (‘she kept my cock’) as part of some sort of patrol / war. And after all this he concludes: it’s a pity she was a whore. Would all this abuse be OK, if she wasn’t a whore?! Now, this last album is acclaimed as Bowie’s magnum opus with symbolic references to his own death process. Would Bowie put on this album a song about some unlucky encounter with a prostitute? I don’t think so. No, I think that this song refers to the whore of Babalon as described by Crowley (whose works Bowie knew well). The whore of Babalon stands for Mother Nature / Shekhinah as the dark mother whom gave us life and who taketh our live. At the end of Bowie’s life she comes and takes away everything which Bowie has. It is a violent patrol of which we all will get our turn. What makes this whore so seductive? In the same way as mother earth she seduces life to come into existence in spring, she seduces us to come back home in the winter of our lifetime. In this seductive process, death is like a violent orgasm after which comes the stillness of the otherworld. She’s a whore, because in this most intimate connection, she seduces all of us and is available for all. All of this is part of an existing mythology about Babalon. What is new and intriguing is why it is a pity that she is a whore. I think that this is the last part of Bowie’s ego which will also be taken away. Seduced and beaten, all Bowie craved for was at least to be the only one for this violent mistress. But alas, even this was not given for him. And us.

Babalon in Crowley’s tarot card Lust.

Pervert Park or how society deals with sex effenders

Zeer indrukwekkende documentaire op de VPRO gezien: Pervert Park. Een park in Florida waar zedendelinquenten opgevangen en gerehabiliteerd worden. Over het stigma van sex offenders hoe zij buiten de samenleving worden gezet als zijnde monsters. Maar ook hoe zij zo geworden zijn. 9 van de 10 keer zijn ze zelf ook seksueel misbruikt. Over hoe straffen niet werkt, maar alleen een dieper begrip van hun eigen gedrag de vicieuze cirkel kan doorbreken. Een voormalig sex offender zei: ‘we zitten hier met 120 mensen. Natuurlijk denken mensen dat we monsters zijn en hun dochters aan gaan randen. Maar wij zijn 120 ambassadeurs die kunnen laten zien dat we mensen zijn en geen monsters meer.’ Something to think about zo vlak na de misstanden in Keulen.

Why Bowie always kept changing – he was guiding the way

Pt1. Today, as most people will agree, an icon of our modern pop culture has passed away. David Bowie, the artist who continued to amaze everyone until his last days by reinventing himself completely on a regular basis.

Many fans have been intrigued by Bowie and his ever changing appearance while always remaining distinctly Bowie. ‘Bowie never shied away from using his work as a sort of ‘art therapy’. Bowie’s career is full of symbolic clothes, postures and many references to esoteric and alchemical imagery. And rest for sure: it is no coincidence that Bowie has used archetypical imagery for decades.

There are many references and documentation to be found about the occult interests of Bowie. But Bowie was not only reading about esoteric knowledge. He used his artistic skills to turn himself into archetypes himself as much as possible. He then explored these personalities in depth and turned his insights into songs, albums and stage persona. With the invocations of these archetypical images he surpassed his ego to become something greater. And the moment when the archetype had nothing new to teach him, he moved on to another journey.

And why would he do this, you might ask? Well, the Tree of Life from the Qabalah explains ten spheres of evolution. These spheres are connected by 22 paths, which are associated with the 22 archetypical cards of the major arcana of the tarot. Each archetypical card has its own mystical insight to learn and when all lessons are learned, you achieve Nirvana. I personally believe that Bowie was on a quest to discover as many archetypical parts of himself as possible in this life.

And this is why I am touched by the passing away of David Bowie. Because by engulfing yourself with archetypical images in this way, you also need to confront your dark sides and fears and to incorporate them into yourself.

As a result, he was a beacon of light to many. As a pop star, with his own personal development, he took his fans with him on his quest and initiated them along the way. He was paving the way for many people and groups. For example, by mentioning to be gay publicly in 1972 only shortly when homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK. But also at the end of his life, he has been leading us by becoming something like a modern day Gnostic messiah in a time of dying Christianity.

Thanks for guiding the direction home to us, David!

Pt2. Een paar jaar geleden was ik bij 50 jaar Bowie in Paradiso. Veel mooie nummers en acts, maar Vijf jaar van Roosbeef raakte mij het meest. Kennelijk best zenuwachtig, trillend, en eerlijk gezegd best vals zong zij haar eigen vertaling van Bowie’s Five years. Maar het kwam zichtbaar uit haar tenen en tranen van gevoel … Nou ja. Destijds gezocht naar de video op internet, maar nooit gevonden. En vandaag zowaar wel. En weer die tranen van gevoel en zo.

Heavenly desire

Yesterday I went Sufi whirling with a group of people and it has been a while since I went. Before we started and were drinking tea, someone called me a lost whirler. To be honest I didn’t know what I had lost or missed. But, when ready to start dancing and the first song started, I remembered. I connected with such an old and intense longing and tenderness. It struck me that for the last months I have not experienced such a deep tenderness. Now I realised what the Sufi’s mean with being drunk with love for God. This tender longing makes me whirl and dance. Nothing to win, prove or lose. No expectations. Just desire.

Sire! I dance for thee!
In heavenly desire.

About the importance of clear communication

I learned a lot about clear communication from salsa dancing. If i would not lead (show what i wanted – clear communication) the woman would just do as she pleased. Only with a strong frame and clear indications of my movements (at the right moment!) the woman would do what I wanted. And even then sometimes not. I realized that mistakes can be a great source of humor and inspiration of becoming conscious of what you are doing. Salsa is clear communication because you feel with direct body contact what the other person wants. Verbal communication is much less clear. What is more is that people often do not speak their mind. And still expect the other to understand them. With salsa, when i don’t indicate a move, nothing happens. It is clear that i am to blame when the lady does not do anything. In some spiritual wisdom traditions it is the goal not to respond at all. ‘If you cannot understand the meaning of life from all what is around you, you are not yet enlightened and hence you are a shitty salsa dancer.’ Also there is the tendency to be too polite to the other when communicating. ‘Excuse me, but you stepped on my foot.’ When this continues to happen, you must become more clear in your communication. As an end result I often repeat behavior of others, just to get my point across. And there are quite some crooked toes out there, I can tell you! When someone fails to understand you, you need to speak up and drop the everyday politeness. But this does not mean that you should disrespect the other. Communication is like a salsa dance. Often a dance starts rusty, but with proper communication there a good chances that it turns into a joyful experience instead of a lot of frustration.