Monday, August 12, 2013

More Rain

Every so often the poet Luna Corvus sends us a poem. He says he has not quite shaken off the Russian muse that has infected him for some time now. I will disagree somewhat as I feel he may have incorporated it if not conquered the Russian spirit very nicely.
The new Corvus work reminds me of a line from the 1868 poem,“Our Hills”, by Sidney Lanier.
“For down steep hills the dawn loves best to race!”

More Rain

For years it has been raining,
and the sun is small,
creeping out at night,
if it appears at all.

Through the cloud of voices
a tiny light appears in the skies
but no one knows what it is.
It burns their eyes.

Budding new growth,
small green stems,
starved for the directions
the system has taken from them.

Fighting in the gloom
betrayed by the rain
in slow motion,
we shadow box the insane.

Struggle makes us strong,
it is said.
If that were not so;
we would all be dead.

Luna Corvus,  2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lunar Cards

"Water Card"

There is a wonderful history in what we call Playing Cards. Rooted in an ancient Judeo-Christian tradition the system of the cards gives us a window to a way of thinking about the world that is hidden from us today.

The Calendar

Everyone knows that the Moon has phases. That is called a Lunar cycle. The Lunar cycle as reckoned from new Moon to new Moon is 28 days which is a Lunar month. There are 13 Lunar months (or cycles) to one Lunar year. There are 13, 28 day months or 364 days in the Lunar year or one day less than the typical year we use; known as Gregorian year. The Gregorian (or solar) calendar year is 365 days.

Neither calendar is completely accurate. The solar cycle is actually 365 ¼ days. The Lunar calendar year is 364 days.
Here’s where it gets a little dodgy. In much of Christendom we use the 365 day Gregorian calendar but to compensate for the ¼ day we add a “leap year” every 4 years placing an extra day in February. In the 364 day Lunar calendar I study, the compensation is done each year by adding a “day out of time” usually at the Winter Solstice. Some say that in ancient meso-America an extended Summer Equinox was used to compensate the calender deficiency.

At this point in the discussion the information becomes very scarce. Experts on historic calendars start to argue with astronomers. Historians dispute astrologers. The farther you go back in time the worse the disagreements get.

But for our discussion we can agree on this. The advantage to the Lunar calendar is each of the 13 months is exactly 28 days, 4 weeks each with 7 days per week; 52 weeks per year. The length of the year is 364 days.

Card Theory

How does that relate to “common” every-day playing cards? With the cards: 13 cards in each suit, 364 divided by 13 = 28; 4 suits x 13 = 52 (the number of cards in the deck), 364 divided by 52 = 7; 7 x 4 suits = 28; therefore 13 x 28 = 364. Note all the relations between the cards and Lunar calendars.
Another relationship: if you count the jack, queen, and king numerically it would be 11, 12, and 13. If you then add all the numbers represented on all the cards it will total 364 or the number of days in the Lunar year.

Of course our ancient forefathers knew these relationships and more. They utilized this data in ways we barely understand. Certainly they knew other things in this relationship we don't understand.

It is only the Lunar calendar that is referenced to cards. The cards mirror the Lunar calendar; 13 months-13 cards per suit; 52 cards per deck-52 weeks per year; 4 seasons (or 4 quarters) 4 suits and 13 weeks per season. The Lunar driven cards are the touchstone to both our most important celestial relationship and the unconscious mind that is fueled by references to the Moon.

Water Card, 16"x 12", Oil on textured hardboard, 2012, DS Reif

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sacred Art of Numbers

Numbers at Play

Numbers are a special group of symbols. They were created in the Beginning as all symbols were but numbers serve a unique function.

The meaning of many symbols has become encrypted with cultural and other protocols so they are obscured to all but the initiated. Number, however, do have a more universal quality about them that allows them to cross cultural and temporal barriers.

Numbers have a special place in our history and in our spirit. The Bible contributes and entire section, The Book of Numbers, to the subject of numbers. It is filled with a plethora of Holy formulas, relationship, and accountings all expressed in numbers.

The Hebrew tradition is greatly indebted to the study and application of numbers. The Hebrew alphabet is concurrently an expression of letters and numbers that are at times used in tandem and at other times used separately.

In one form or another numbers have been used as long as we can understand the history of people. But for our purposes perhaps the greatest philosopher of numbers was the Greek scholar Pythagoras. Likely born on the island of Samos near Ionia in about 570 B.C. (the exact date is not known) he lived and taught for about 70 years. He is considered the father of number theory.

Joscelyn Godwin writes, “ his emphasis on Number...revealed the secret without which modern technology would have been impossible. It is applied mathematics, after all, that has led to the so-called conquest of Nature. But at the same time, and much more importantly, Pythagoras taught the metaphysical and sacred aspect of Number as reflecting the One and its emanations.”

It is the metaphysical aspects of numbers that are the basis for numerology and cartomancy which is the study of how numbers relate to humans and their condition. This study of numbers was know in Biblical times and before. The work of Pythagoras helped us to understand the cosmic aspects of numbers as they relate to heaven and nature.

Modern man rudely uses numbers only in their counting function or as a shorthand language to express concepts. David Fideler writes of Pythagoras, “What we do know is that a metaphysical philosophy of Number lay at the heart of his thought and teaching permeating...even the domains of psychology, ethics and political philosophy.” He continues, “Pythagorean understanding of Number is quite different from the predominately quantitative understanding of today. For the Pythagorean, Number is a living, qualitative reality which must be approached in an experiential manner. Whereas the typical modern usage of number is as a sign, to denote a specific quantity or amount, the Pythagorean usage is not, in a sense, even a usage at all: Number is not something to be used; rather, its nature is to be discovered.”

These days we have stripped numbers down to their barest utilitarian elements causing these symbols to be viewed as a token that stands in for something we are counting. This minimalist “counting function” pervades the thinking of nearly everyone and deprives people of the vastly larger carrying capacity that numbers have for storing data.

If we can understand that all thing come from the One which is the unity, while Two opens up duality and conflict but the possibility of knowledge then we can begin to comprehend a larger role for numbers particularly those from 1 to 10. The data stored in number symbols is enormous. However, it takes a mind open to metaphor and allegory to peek inside and view the secrets that numbers hold.

Quotations from:

“Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library”, David Fideler editor, 1987

More about symbols: Click Here

Illustration: "Numbers at Play", 4"x4", Ink on paper, A Ann Reif, 2013


Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Symbol as Superluminal Potentia


Symbols are ubiquitous. They are the dynamic relationship between the way we organize thoughts and Creation. If there is a seen and unseen world existing together the function of symbols is to inform us about our world and mediate the interface between the two worlds.

There would be no understanding of the unseen world of Creation without the use of symbols from the seen world. This principle is elucidated by Paul in Romans 1:20 but is admittedly an older if not universal rule of the ancients.

Concurrently there would be no understanding of the seen world without the same tools, albeit, applied in different ways. Symbols can stand alone only in potentia which permits them to move seamlessly between material and non-material forms.

Symbols are the lattice work of thought-forms which give us an understanding of the material world and a glimpse into the workings of the unseen world. The “symbol” in its unpolished form is without meaning unless it is attached to (or corresponds to) some aspect of Creation.

The “symbol” then has an extremely high harmonic potential that is designed to carry meaning back and forth between the non-material world, the visible world, and the human mind. It is a malleable instrument that can be shaded to obtain the proper level of resonance for the recipient. This scalable property is what accounts for the individual understanding of similar phenomena in different ways.

Yet in the same manner the “symbol” must be filtered (or defined) and ultimately be “collapsed” by each individual in order for that person to have a usable bit of information. The filtration process is supplied by culture, memory, and history.

While a new target phenomenon may be external to the individual it will be quickly wrapped with immediate resonating symbolism until such time has elapsed when a more useful or specific set of symbols can be acquired. Ultimately this process should lead to an adequate constellation of meaning to satisfy the individual and his needs while the essential dynamic nature of the symbol remains in tact awaiting a harmonic change.

In the example of a simple circle or O we know that it implies many sets of meaning. A zero indicating “nothing”, a circle meaning the “whole”, a void, a numerical place-hold, or a round thing that rolls like a automobile tire. A symbol can carry an enormous amount of data that can be accessed and refined by the human mind into a specific meaning set.

But the transferability of meaning is nearly fantastic in nature. Not only can a symbol carry great amounts of data but it can switch meaning sets instantaneously. The symbolic circle being utilized by an individual in Nebraska as a zero can at the same time be used as a disk by a person in Azerbaijan and then switched from one to another or modified instantaneously. This superluminal property of the symbol is in continuous use and must be seen as intrinsic to consciousness.

If we view the “symbol” as a superluminal potentia capable of carrying vast amounts of data over unknown distances then the controversy over symbols as cultural construction versus psychological phenomena is eased. For instance, if this universe began with a divine movement combined with the voice of God calling energy into existence, then we are understanding these actions with symbols embedded in our consciousness that came from the beginning or before and are still carrying information now. Therefore, the interval between then and now is nil as an instantaneous transfer of data continues through the dynamic symbol set understood as Creation.

This may not completely open the door to a resolution of parallelism but I think it does crack open a portal. It may not solve certain theological issues but may be valuable in areas from theurgy to quantum computing.

Symbols as Superluminal Potentia
David S Reif
On this day of Epiphany 2013

Illustration: "Circles", ink on paper, 4"x4", A. Ann Reif

Click the LIKE icon for updates